Influx of settlers questioned as developments thought to be illegal

By Gary Hatigeva

THERE is widespread concern over the number of developments taking place on lands at the Alligator area going east, with questions directed at the tendering of lands in that region.

The area of concern runs from after where a log pond is situated and goes up to the care centre area, and the Guadalcanal Province Office has been questioned over the status of the land as there is likely, no consultation been done to allow for those developments and settlements to happen.

A Mr Antony Pitu of Fox Wood told Island Sun that the developments include erection of houses and gardening.

He said if plots within the area of concern are given out by the province, then that should be questioned as the province has no right to sell any plots from within that land as they are under the Levers Solomon Islands, and has a caretaker, whom he claimed has not been consulted with.

According to Pitu, after the ethnic crisis an Andrew Kuvu who is an elder from the region was appointed by Guadalcanal Province to be the caretaker and people around the area are not sure how the developers got their approvals, if they have any, and had chose not to inform the caretaker.

Meanwhile, Pitu along with people around that region have also called for an explanation from the Province, and questioned why the Province is not doing its job to monitor such developments, as what’s highlighted can only be deemed illegal if they are done outside of processes.

They stressed and suggested that officials within the Province’s Lands division should go out to the fields to assess and see if those on the highlighted lands are in compliance with agreements that guide the acquisition of any plots or lands there.

Pitu then explained that the process or any acquisition made within the Levers lands will have to involve two parties, which include G-Province and the Levers, and the caretaker being informed off.

Pitu said this issue raises a lot of concerns because some of the acquisitions are done through or with the wrong people, and it is more concerning as such kind of issues can lead to unwanted matters as settlements on the rise in the area mentioned.

He said if people who might have owned certain lands or plots within those areas have their titles and plan to return, should learn from the Gilbert and Sikiana groups whom he said, did the right thing by going through the recognised process, with the caretaker being informed.

The Fox Wood man claimed that many indigenous Guadalcanal people have respectfully applied for plots on the lands through the proper channels but have not received any feedbacks.

But it frustrates many to see that despite the patience, many people are reportedly by-passing the processes and are continuously seen settling and establishing development activities in those lands.

However, a follow up with Guadalcanal Province on this revealed that there has been no compliance on the process by those who are currently developing the lands and interestingly, people settling on these lands have already claimed ownership.

Officials confirmed that the Province or Levers has not given any authorisation for the selling or giving away of lands within the area of concern.

The process of acquiring lands from this highlighted area, according to officials within the Lands Division of the Province, people will have to go through the G-province and then the province will liaise with Levers Solomon, who is the title holder of these lands, and the two will work on the division of land before title or land is given out.

Unfortunately, according to G-Province officials, this has not happened, explaining that no such programs or understanding has been done over the mentioned land and therefore suggesting that all who settle on plots within those areas mentioned are illegal and should therefore move out.

It is understood that the caretaker of the land, Andrew Kuvu is currently posting notices for stop to all the developments and related activities on the land, which involved building of houses, gardening, harvesting of crops and cocoa, plus others.

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