Relocation information questioned

MP Ngwele

MP Jay Ngwele has questioned the content of the ‘Rilokeisen I go long Maewo’ Information Sheet which is valid until the end of the State of Emergency on July 31.

The blue and white single sheet of paper with information in Bislama on both sides, advises that if an individual chooses to relocate to Maewo before the State of Emergency ends on July 30, he will be provided with transport and access to land, shelter or building supplies, food and water until December 31 of 2018.

While it remains to be seen if building supplies will be provided, MP Ngwele says he has contacted Maewo MP Ian Wilson, who told him that there are no existing houses or buildings to accommodate any new arrivals who wish to relocate to Maewo.

The Information Sheet also says the Government will provide transport for the person and his family to go to their second home.

“You will continue to keep your land on Ambae even if you go to Maewo. However, if you want to travel to Ambae to visit your land, you will need to travel at your own cost”, the brochure states.

“While on Maewo, you are entitled to have access to land”.

The advice admits limited health and education services on arrival at Maewo but that the Government will increase the level of social services available in the future.

Meanwhile eye witnesses at Lolowai have confirmed that some Ambae students who have relocated to Gambule School on South Maewo have arrived at Lolowai by boat.

The sources spoken to say it is not clear if they are visiting or are returning home for good.

What is clear however is that relatives at Lolowai had to buy food to send to their children at Gambule, saying there was no food for the students because the promised supply of rice arrived late.

Also their living conditions become flooded when it rains and they have to roll their beddings at night and stand with them. "It is a painful experience for us parents and grandparents to imagine our children and grandchildren in such critical situations on their own on another island", the sources say with emotion.

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