Below is an article in the Papua New Guinea Post Courier today (Friday 01 May, 2009) on the plight of the Carterets Islanders. Read and watch a video on the Carterets Islanders on one of my earlier posting here.
Carterets People Resettled
By GORETHY KENNETH
THE first world climate refugees from Carterets Island moved to their new homes, Tinputz, the relocation site last Wednesday to prepare the land for their families to move over permanently.
Fathers of the first five families to relocate arrived on the shores of Tinputz on Wednesday.
The fathers, Boski, Kamin, Cahrles Tsibi, Texan and Bernard arrived in a banana boat hired by Tulele Peisa from the Health Centre on Han Carterets.
The fathers brought along their sons to support them in the work leading up to the time when their wives and children will eventually join them. Head of a non-government organisation, Tulele Peisa, Ursula Rakova yesterday said they had raised K15,000 to bring these families over to Tinputz and denied the Bougainville Administration did nothing to help with the relocation program.
She said they were able to build sago houses for these five families and are hoping the government intervenes to provide funds for iron roofing and other necessities.
Ms Rakova said yesterday that the five fathers were met by the Tinputz community, representatives of the Tinputz Parish Council and Tulele Peisa on arrival.
They arrival was quiet but a significant historic occasion and to a traditional welcome ceremony performed by women from Tinputz.
For more than three years now Tulele Peisa mandated by the elders from Carterets to fast-track the relocation of the islanders has been working in close partnership and dialogue with the Catholic Church of Bougainville for land to voluntary resettle some families from the Carterets. In response the Catholic gave 41 hectares of land.
Work on the resettlement site began last year.
“Carterets Islanders want to relocate to mainland,” she said. “They want to begin true relationships with their host community partners, get involved in some income generating activities to sustain their lives.” The five families were chosen from a criteria set by Tulele Peisa with the emphasis on size of family, whether a family has enough to feed on the island, access to paying school fees and medical services and the whether the family is able to survive on the island for the next two years.”
Ms Rakova said Tulele Peisa ran the criteria past some of the elders in Buka, Carterets and Tinputz and most agreed that it catered for the everyday questions raised. In Carterets, some of the families whose fathers arrived in Tinputz this week signed on early and they were all smiles when their boat reached Tinputz. “What can I say, I’m lost for words and cannot believe I am definitely here to prepare the place for the movement of my fellow islanders”, Bernard Tobara of Yolasa, Carterets, said in a statement sent yesterday.
“On Monday during a big meeting to farewell and wish us luck on our journey an argument broke out as some fathers complained that they had put up their names first, but were not included,”Charles Tsibi said.
As soon as the welcome party left, the fathers went to work in cleaning up their village, raking up leaves that had collected over the years, some cutting away branches, while others went about putting up a tent for the night – their first night in their new home.