Wednesday, 22 August 2007 7:31 AM

Another Logging Company Accused of Abuse

Another Asian logging company, operating at Wairokai in West 'Are 'Are in Malaita Province, has been accused of abusing children and women in the area.

Speaking to the National Express, a member of the Rapusia Tribe in the Wairokai area, who asked to remain anonymous, alleged that the abuses are known in the area but people have kept quiet. He also accused these Malaysian loggers of disregarding and paying little respect for the people and Chiefs of the community.

"All innocent people in Are 'Are want to see that this company see the people of the area as important because it is their land and they are the resource owners. Instead of behaving like a dictator, this company should respect our people and make sure that all its activities are done in accordance to the laws of Solomon Islands," said the Wairokai man.

The Wairokai man warned that these loggers face serious repercussions if they continue to abuse children and women in the area, and he calls on the government to do something. "When the Government neglects these problems, the people in the rural areas see that Government as interested only in exploiting the people's resources just to benefit the Government and the investors," said the Wairokai man. "It is about time the Government looks at these issues proactively before they get out of hand."

In a recent study undertaken by a church based organization in West Makira, the study found that children, especially young girls, were being abused by Asian loggers who entice them with material goods and money. The report has highlighted the plight of villagers, within the vicinity of logging camps, and the serious need to address some of the problems of abuse.

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