Settlements to Suburbs Project Starts

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City Sivarai

Aligned to the Vision 2030 for Port Moresby, Governor Powes Parkop and NCDC’s “Settlement to Suburb” initiative is on track at the 9-mile Rouna Quarry settlement. An estimated 50.28 acres of land is being transformed with over 326 land allotments being created.

Countering the perception that this project indulges in free titles being given, NCDC’s Strategic and Urban Planning Manager Kemo Pepena Guise clearly stated that a cost component of K40,000 has been imposed on each title or allotment recipient.

“We want the residents to be accountable, and not receiving handouts. We commend them for their cooperation and buy-in, thereby helping us complete the allocation process. It is significant that more than 100 public servants have been identified living in the settlement, during the consultation phase of the project.”

This pilot project was launched on July 21, 2020 by Prime Minister James Marape at the project site. Phase 1 will see the construction of 290 residential allotments, 3 commercial areas, a school, a clinic and a police station.

In addition, NCDC is also complementing the suburb project with the sealing and construction of 4 major trunk roads in the area. Other utility services like water supply and power will also be connected to the project area, Manager Guise said, adding the success of the project is measured by improved liveability.

City Sivarai

Governor Parkop said the journey to end settlement in the city had started already.

“More than half of our people are living in settlement. It is a challenge but it is also an opportunity for us to change their lives. If it becomes successful, it will have cascading socio-economic benefits for the city.”

“Settlements and their low quality of life must end now. Our city will be a better and truly National Capital when we end settlements. We have achieved a lot ranging from world-class stadiums to road infrastructure for the city. Amongst other challenges, ending settlement is a key strategy for us to complete the building blocks for transformation,” said Governor Parkop.

Port Moresby, like any other city in the world is carrying the burden of rapid urbanization, and migration, causing stress on existing infrastructure and land. Cities are home to more than half of humankind, the proportion growing at an unstoppable rate of 40% yearly.

Global statistics also show that more than 1 billion people in the world live in informal settlements – that is 1 out of 3 people in cities live in slums! Settlement and slum upgrading has been a priority area for UN Habitat as cities have struggled to find a solution, without much consultation with the slum residents themselves.

In contrast, Port Moresby is amongst a handful of cities that has set up a pilot project in 2016 to lift and upgrade slums and unplanned settlement. While there are no overnight solutions, Port Moresby has taken a significant step towards accelerating the settlement to suburb upgrade programme, which can potentially be replicated at a national level.