Savu & Rai Jua News - Dec '02

Land compensation claim drags on

Villagers of Kota Hawu in Western Savu are still awaiting compensation for the loss of their land, which was flooded in 1996 to create a reservoir to serve the irrigation needs of the neighbouring village of D'eme. At the time, a gentleman's agreement satisfied the villagers whose land was to be flooded. However, the villagers of D'eme have renegged on the deal by failing to compensate the Kota Hawu villagers with some of their land as was agreed.

The resevoir, known as Mapu Haba, only benefits the villagers of D'eme village. The five hectares of land, which was previously cultivated with rice paddies, belongs to 17 villagers of Kota Hawu. The dispute has dragged on despite repeated complaints by their coordinator, Mr. Marthen Padja, Mr. Bernadus Tige Kore and Mr. Ya Wike, a village leader. Mr. Padja and the villagers are hoping the government will step in to settle the matter. However, a government official, Mr Alex Humau S.H, expressed regret over the agreement lacking written evidence. He has suggested that the two parties meet to discuss the matter, with the involvement of the local government apparatus and to report the outcome to the regional government in Kupang.

Copyright © 2007 Ina Tali/Francesca Von Reinhaart.


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