Tuesday, 7 April 2009 7:32 AM

Relocation Needed for Low Lying Atoll Dwellers: Maelanga

Member of East Malaita, Hon Manasseh Maelanga, in parliament has called on responsible authorities to start working on a relocation plan for those outer islands affected by the rising sea levels.

Mr Maelanga raised the issue during the question and answers session in parliament yesterday.

He called on the various ministries responsible, "to act now because we are running out of time."

"Ministries should act and relocate people especially those living in low lying atolls...there is an urgent need for them to be relocated to main lands," Maelanga said.

He added that he is currently talking with customary landowners in his constituency to "give land for relocation purposes...and have the land registered to those that eventually settle there."

Meanwhile, minister for home affairs Hon James Tora stated that his ministry is still awaiting reports from the disaster management office, "government is taking a cautious approach in the resettlement of people affected by the rise in sea levels, and it will take time."

Hon Gordon Darcy minister for environment and conservation explained in parliament that alienated land in existence in the country have all been ear-marked for commercial development.

He said any land for people that may be affected by sea level rise must be negotiated with landowners and provinces.

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