KOIARI LANDOWERS HOLD OFF SHUTTING DOWN POWER & WATER TO PORT MORESBY | By Bryan Kramer.


KOIARI LANDOWERS HOLD OFF SHUTTING DOWN POWER & WATER TO PORT MORESBY.
By Bryan Kramer | Aug 21, 2019.
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Late this afternoon I drove up to PNG Rouna Hydro Station after disgruntled Koiari Landowners moved in threatening to shut down power and water to the nations capital over funds owed to them by the National Government.

Last week the landowners conducted peaceful protest outside the Prime Minister’s Office demanding answers after K4.2 million was removed from their account by Finance Department.

In April 2019, K5 million was paid to the landowners based on an understanding between the State and their leaders after they would not cut power and water supply to the city.

According to media reports, Government directed Chief Secretary Treasury and Secretary Provincial Affairs to talk to the village leaders to resolve their grievances. They assembled a State team consisting of us, PNG Power Limited, Eda Ranu, Lands (department), Commerce and Central/NCD Police which negotiated with the landowners. From these discussions, the following was agreed:

1. Clan vetting to be carried out to establish the real landowners;

2. An ILG to be established and a MOA for service delivery to be signed by parties;

3. That there will be no disruptions to the facilities while this is in progress; and
4. The State to pay K5m to a landowner nominated company to assist with a clan vetting exercise.

The landowners drew down K800,000 to carry out the vetting, however soon after, the balance of K4.2 million was recalled back to Finance.

Last Friday they issued a threat to PNG Power Staff and security guards manning the Rouna Hydro stations 1, 2 and 4 that they would shut down the stations, cutting off power and water to the city.

Yesterday morning they moved into the station grounds. I was notified late in the afternoon and asked they hold off until I had the opportunity to meet with them the next day.

4pm this afternoon I drove to the station asking they allow me to speak to the Prime Minister before any action is taken.

The landowners agreed returned the station back to PNG Power and afforded me the opportunity to resolve it.

Source | Bryan Kramer
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