March 20, 2018

A LAND GROUP IN BULOLO APPRECIATE THE WORK OF PROVINCIAL LAND DISPUTE COMMITTEE (PLDC)

A land group and one of the parties to the land dispute involving National Forest Authority (NFA) in Bulolo appreciate the work of Provincial Land Dispute Committee (PLDC) in the district.
The Chairman of the Patep Denglu Land Group Inc. Mr. Ismael Onam together with the members of the Patep Denglu Land Group turned up at the Bulolo District Court House this morning to acknowledge the work of the PLDC.
‘We have gone to mediation and land courts with other parties (Wandumi and Katumani) disputing over the land where NFA reafforestation for over a hundred years. Our grandfathers and our fathers have fought for it and they are dead without benefiting from it and we have been going through court battle, Mr. Onam said. Mr. Onam added that over the course of disputes we have spent a lot of resources including money, time and efforts. He added that some of the elderly clan members have died without benefiting from the loyalty payment from the NFA.
However, the parties are thankful that their length battle ended last week Thursday (01/03/2018), when the Provincial Land Magistrate and Chairman of the PLDC Mr. Jeremiah Singomat provide advice and guide the parties through education awareness on land issues which helped the parties themselves to reach a common understanding that they (parties) all agreed to first, share the benefits from NFA that is kept in the Trust Account equally among themselves and second, renew the contract signed by their grandfathers in the past. 
Meanwhile, the ward 11 councillor Mr. Kobi Givisa added that during the course of the land dispute, they missed out on benefits or the basic government and company services. Now the battle is over, they look forward to work as a team to drive company and government services into their communities that will bring about change and improve the lives of the people.
Moreover, the Provincial Liaison Officer and Executive Officer to the PLDC Mr. Ringwaku Sedrick thanked the parties to reach common understanding and said it is a way forward to resolve disputes. Disputing over the land has resulted in blood shedding and lives lost over the years and yet nothing good has happened. This time, with the platform  PLDC now has, we (PLDC) want to take different approach and that is to go down to the people where disputes are especially on the project development areas involving customary land and get the parties and developer together and guide them to reach fair and amicable decision themselves.
This is a pilot project that PLDC is rolling out in Bulolo District with the support from the JSS4D. We have files of backlog land dispute cases in other districts in Morobe as well that very much need PLDC to go and bring


the parties together and guide them to reach a common understanding that will help the parties resolve the disputes. We as PLDC are preparing to go into where disputes are however the funding constraint is the big challenges. But, if we have support coming from the National Government or Provincial Administration or even our core donor partners I think that will really help PLDC to continue with the good work it is doing into other districts in Morobe.
After all, we want to ensure disputes over a project a site involving customary land is minimized so that landowners live happily, share and enjoy the benefits from the projects taking place on their land.

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