The Bulolo district joint district budget planning and priorities
committee (JDPBPC) under the chairmanship of local MP Sam Basil has
endorsed the social mapping study to be undertaken at by Social
Environmental Research and Consultancy Services (SERACS) Ltd, a
research and consultancy group specialising in anthropological, social
and environmental research.
The project is an initiative of the local member Sam Basil and
villagers that have been affected over the year.
Bulolo MP Sam Basil said: "I want to be proactive in addressing
land-related issues, and social mapping is the way forward in my
electorate as there is a lot of mineral resource development and
exploration taking place, and if we are not proactive in addressing
this issues, law and order problems arising from land disputes are
likely to happen, and has already happened in the Wau Bulolo
The Bulolo district JDBPPC has approved K250, 000 funding of the
project with the first trench payment of K100, 000.
The social mapping study that would be undertaken by SERACS would
focus on the systematic collection of information on customary social
groups and the tracts of land they are associated with.
The team leader of SERACS Dr Rodney Kameata highlighted at the
presentation to the members of the Bulolo JDPBPC that "social mapping
study should entail an understanding of the cultural and historical
factors that have shaped the relationship between people and their
The local level government council presidents present at the JPPBPC
meeting and the Bulolo district public servants appreciated that Mr
Basil is being proactive in addressing a lot of the land-related
issues, and setting the foundation for any land-based developments
that would be taking place in his electorate.
John Yawa, president of the Wau LLG said: "A lot of the land issues
in the electorate are outstanding, and the initiative of social
mapping is a means to provide empirical evidence and information in
relation to land and customary rights.
"We the LLG presidents appreciate the move."
Another LLG president Mathias Philip said: "While mineral exploration
and development is on the boom in the district, the developers and the
agencies of the state need to proactively work with the customary
landowners, and guide them through.
"Such is not happening and the initiative is priority in the Bulolo district."
Mr Basil said that this initiative of social mapping should be the
first undertaken when a developer first enters customary land,
however, has not happened much.
Population growth has also created an unprecedented growth of villages
expanding with spillover effects resulting in unwarranted casualties,
loss of lives and assets from related land disputes.
The social mapping project is the best way forward for everybody
especially making vital information available for our future
generations to use.