19 Feb 2013

Solomons landowners to be compensated for Temotu airport development

4:02 pm on 19 February 2013

Temotu province landowners in Solomon Islands are seeking tens of thousands of US dollars in compensation over the building of a second airport.

The province remains under a state of natural disaster following a magnitude eight earthquake and subsequent tsunami, which displaced thousands of people and killed at least 10 on the main Santa Cruz island of Ndende.

Our correspondent George West says extra police were brought from Honiara to the provincial capital, Lata, to deal with disturbances related to delays in the distribution of relief supplies.

But he says officers were also ferried to the Reef Islands north-east of Ndende because of unrest there.

"And the premier himself went over to settle the issue of demand for compensation by some disgruntled landowners who wanted some compensation to allow earthmoving equipment to pass through their land to build a second airport in Temotu province in the Reef Islands."

George West says the premier told him upon his return from the islands that he has asked the landowners to wait while he finds the 137,000 US dollars they want.