13 May 2009

Concern in Bougainville over missing money for islanders displaced by climate change

7:21 pm on 13 May 2009

The deputy speaker of the House of Representatives in Papua New Guinea's automonus province of Bougainville says she's appalled millions of kina earmarked for the relocation of Carteret Islanders to the main island has gone missing.

Francesca Semoso says 746-thousand US dollars was allocated by the government to help with the relocation but that it appears to have never been paid out.

The islanders have been forced to start relocating because their low lying islands flood frequently.

Five families have already made the move to the mainland but Ms Semoso says there's been no financial support and they're now struggling.

"Yknow we're failing people on the ground. We're failing the people we're supposed to be helping here. And we're talking about human lives. With the rising sea level like you know we experienced last year, the king tides, anything can happen in the next couple of weeks. But most importantly I myself would like to know where that money is. If it's there right now, can they give it to the people?"

Francesca Semoso says she wil raise this matter in parliament in early June.