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18 May 2015


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Bomai, I agree with your assertion that children who grew up in these sorts of environments will end up becoming a problem to their parents.

It is something I see happening to other kids within the area that I live in and other settlements throughout Port Moresby and other parts of the country.

In a place like Port Moresby, where land and housing are a major problem, citizens who wished to escape from these sort of socially challenging environments do not have the flexibility to do so.

It is sad to see that very little is done to address the plight of genuine law abiding residents/citizens who are often at the mercy of lawless and no-care community.

Jeremiah, most current MPs think, talk and possess cheap behavior. They are scared of making unpopular decisions that will make them even more unpopular then they were before entering Politics. Parkop's Betelnut ban policy is an unpopular policy that makes Parkop unpopular among betel nut growers and sellers but he didn't care. We need more Parkops to join him to clean NCD.

From another front, your children are growing up in the midst of the situations you described in your article and they will be influenced by them in a big way. This is where children of educated parents are influenced by the environment and peers to become notorious alcoholics and social nuisance. It is a challenge that all parents will have to deal with while raising children in urban and peri-urban centers.

Francis, people in the settlement where I live have been progressing through life with or without the knowledge of the politicians.

In fact, for many years and even now, politicians are well aware of the problems but, typical of them, nothing has been forthcoming.

In fact the settlement is located close to the city and accessible by road that one cannot miss seeing the folks literally surviving on scraps. This is unfortunately the case in other settlements as well.

Recently, there have been efforts to organise the community into groups to try and negotiate for services to be brought into the community but results have been been mixed.

While there are signs of progress in terms of infrastructure, the social aspects of the problem are losing grip with reality (that we are living in the city).

There is also a need for politicians to be united in addressing issues relating to settlements in the cities. For instance, NCDC may have other plans for Erima Settlement compared to Hon Labi Amaiu, its political leader. Both need to say the same thing and that has to be conveyed to the people.

On the other hand there is a need for a concerted effort between the community and the govenrment to address most of the problems occurring with the settlements.

Both sides should clearly know their responsbilities and must work towards ensuring that settlements are peaceful for everyone to live in.

Phil, internal migration for the purpose of labour transfer to certain economically active regions of the city or country to address settlement issue is not a bad idea, although as you you've said it may come at a huge cost to the government.

However, times have also changed and I think it is time for the private sector to include housing as a condition of employment .

The government can support this effort by allocating titled land to these private firms. I believe the ongoing National Housing Program led by the Office of National Urbanisation may be a component in that.

With the advent of the National Identity Card Project, the days of so-called block voting will become history as only legitimate voters gets their chance to cast their votes - and do this once unlike the multiple times they have been doing this for some extra cartons of beer and lamb flaps.

The "marimari or sometimes revenge capital" that the settlement people have banked on to mesh up the fair electoral process for aspiring and/or established politicians is cracking and its days are numbered.

Come 2017 the national elections, only voters with National ID Cards will vote.

The settlements are the 'elephant in the room' for Port Moresby.

Back in the 1960s and 70s the Australian administration had a 'turn back the boats' policy with regards to squatters but it didn't work because of the overwhelming tide.

The other method they used was resettlement. That is how some of the big oil palm projects on New Britain etc. got going.

It was a problem in most of the big towns back then too. Mt Hagen, Goroka and Lae especially had problems.

I suspect that resettlement might have to occur in Mosbi soon. Moving people out to new satellite suburbs.

That's expensive if it is to be done properly with good planning and the building of infrastructure like transport and facilities.

It probably needs to be done now before the problem gets out of hand.

It would be best done by local firms employing people out of the settlements rather than bringing in some big company like they are doing around Napa Napa.

Busa, I suggest you don't wait for the politicians to come to you to solve your problems. Maybe they don't know your problems at Erima.

Get yourselves organised and go to them and let them know what your community at Erima wants. Bring to them your problems and desires for change. Then they might be able to help.

This simply means communicating and understanding each another and may entail tangible changes.

Most social problems like drunken brawls, gambling etc are created by man and it can be changed but needs community leaders with wisdom to take appropriate initial steps.

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