Land compensation claim
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
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