26 May 2015

Vanuatu squatters get ultimatum

1:07 pm on 26 May 2015

Chiefs in Vanuatu's biggest village, which is near Port Vila, have given squatters until August the 18th to vacate their plots.

The call has been made by the spokesman for the chiefs of Mele village, Chief Dick Namata

He says failing to obey the advice would leave the villagers with no other option but to carry out an operation on August the 19th without giving any details.

Looking over Mele Village outside of Port Vila, the river on the left burst its banks during the cyclone floodng the entire village and destroying all their food gardens.

A view over Mele Village soon after Cyclone Pam. Photo: RNZI / Koroi Hawkins

Chief Namata says an increasing number of complaints of theft and trespassing in food gardens has been blamed on individuals who have newly arrived from other provinces looking for work.

They are said to have found nowhere else to stay and erected temporary shelters on Mele custom lands without permission.

Chief Namata says expatriate lease holders of Mele custom land have also complained of illegal activities on their properties, including fishing in restricted areas.