By Mike Puia
GOVERNMENT is in the process of paying $3 million to Hatanga to secure the land at Rock Valley, in West Honiara. This is for residents that are said to occupy the area informally.
Chairman of the Association, Moffat Konofilia, said squatters around Rock Valley have been struggling to register a piece of land at Rock Valley for a long time but without any success.
Konofilia said there have been constant clashes between the Fixed Term Estate (FTE) title holder of the land (Hatanga) and squatters in the area in which lives have been threatened and disrupted.
For this, the West Honiara Squatters Association (WHSA) welcomed the move.
Konofilia thanked West Honiara MP, Namson Tran, for facilitating the process which resulted in the land being secured for squatters in their constituency.
According to Konofilia, Tran lodged a paper to cabinet which took a number of sittings before it was approved for payment.
The payment the government made means the FTE title will return to the Commissioner of Lands. The Commissioner will subdivide the land according to boundaries set by squatters and squatters will pay for the blocks they occupy to the Commissioner until they acquire the FTE title under their name.
Konofilia said this move will help squatters pay less than paying to Hatanga.
He said their squatters are now on the path to owning a land in Honiara, something that is difficult for their squatters.
Konofilia said some of the squatters in the land are lawyers, doctors, nurses, business owners, public servants, national sports reps, former MPs and so forth.
He added these respected citizens deserve a place in Honiara where they can call home.
The Association is pushing to see the same arrangement done for its other squatter at Savo Height.
According to Konofilia, work to secure Savo Height has already started.
The total value of the land is $6 million. This is the first instalment payment.