BY ALEX DADAMU AND LIONEL TAORAO
THE recent extension of the Ulawa Hydro Power Project in the Makira Ulawa Province to the Northern Ulawa region is being disputed by claimed land owners in a meeting held by the Haraina community House of Chiefs.
The meeting last month was held to discuss matters concerning the extension of the Ulawa Ugi Constituency Funded Hydro Power Project to the Su’u Moli community, North of Ulawa Island.
Speaking during the meeting, Placido Teona from Tawatere village told the Haraina House of Chiefs that extending the power line through the customary lands he owned will not happen until his demands are met by the Ulawa/Ugi constituency office.
“The proposed extension of power lines towards Su’u Moli community will not be happening until Hon. Marau confirms that they will meet my request.
“The agreement I made with Hon. William Bradford Marau is for him to assist us with water supply project before work on the extending of power lines through my land can proceed because we have faced water shortage for years now” Mr. Teona stated during the meeting.
However, in a statement today to Sunday Isles Newspaper, Hon. William Marau said that it’s just a request and not a dispute as claimed.
“So we agree to wait for grants to be made available and the constituency to buy pipes for their water supply before work can start again in the pulling of main electric lines past their community.
“It’s not a big issue,” Hon. Marau pointed out.
He said some people especially the opposition side in the constituency would like to term it as a form of dispute.
“Mr. Teona was spending the last 3 months staying with me at Lunga during the recent lockdown and that was his request, not a dispute.
“Grant is not forthcoming so we are still waiting. It’s just a matter of time before we recommence our development programs again,” The Ulawa/Ugi Member of Parliament, Hon. Marau confirmed.
Meanwhile, work on the extension of the Ulawa Hydro Power Project has now reached Haraina communities which is about five kilometers from Mwajoa village which hosts the Hydro Power Project on Ulawa Island.
The Project was initially kicked off way back in 2015.