URBAN SQUATTERS POSE INCREASING SOCIAL AND POTENTIAL SECURITY THREATS

URBAN SQUATTERS POSE INCREASING SOCIAL AND POTENTIAL SECURITY THREATS

Posted by : Posted on : 06-May-2017
Honiara : 6 May 2017
Letter to the Editors, Island Sun and Solomon Star Newspapers
Last week I read with interest the commentary in the Sun newspaper the views of former City Councillor, Charles Lesimaoma, on what he considered the land issues affecting Honiara residents and the existing problem of squatters.
I thought his views made good sense
I particularly shared his comments on the need for decentralisation of developments to curtail the need for people to migrate to Honiara seeking employment.
Illegal settlement on customary land in Honiara has been growing for many years and, unless controlled and soon, there will be increasing risks of urban disorder and one can imagine the police having to become more involved in squatter related disputes and disturbances against public order and security.
I had high hopes some years ago when decentralisation policies of a former administration proposed rural growth centres aimed at creating job opportunities for the socially disadvantaged rural communities, but the idea and aims vanished like so many other proposals over the years that could have uplifted the livelihoods of rural people and helped to curtail the urban drift so evident today.
Just as long term youth unemployment will, ultimately, pose security and social threats, so will the uncontrolled intrusion of squatters and no time should be lost, before it is too late, to get to grips with the overallsocial issues.
Importantly, too, return to the policy of decentralisation and put work and greater opportunities in the hands of the many rural communities.

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