North Ambae man unhappy with Maewo relocation

A man from North Ambae in the village of Batamwele called Daily Post by phone yesterday to express his dissatisfaction about the Government’s relocation plan.

Moli Tari said they are not happy about their relocation to Maewo.

“The decision to relocate us to Maewo is against our right of choice,” Tari said.

He said unlike Santo, there are no jobs on Maewo, therefore no source of income.

He alleged the majority of people on Ambae want to go to Santo.

Tari alleged a ship was at Lolowai ready to evacuate the people to Maewo but they refuse to go there.

“The majority of the people are boarding ships that are destined for Santo,” the North Ambae resident said.

Meanwhile, by late yesterday reports from Saratamata on Ambae say a vessel has left the island with the people from South Ambae bound for Kerebei on Maewo.

The Government is adamant Maewo is the best relocation option for the displaced people of Ambae.

Prime Minister Charlot Salwai had stated that Maewo has sufficient vacant land to cater for all the Ambae population.

He also cited strong cultural linkages, a well as agreement between chiefs and leaders of both islands for the people to settle on Maewo following their customary heritage.

Mr Salwai said Maewo is in Penama Province and moving the people there maintains Penama’s status.

Not only that but Maewo is rich with natural resources including water, food and animals.

The Government has made it clear that its resources will be focused on Maewo.

Prime Minister Salwai made it clear that other arrangements with other islands will be at the cost of the individuals who made that decision.

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