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Pereifalo Family Opposes Shutdown of Santo Hydro Power Project

By Doddy Morris 1 hr ago

The Pereifalo family in Santo, on whose land the Hydro Power project was established, voiced their disagreement with the closure of the project last week, stating that it was a crooked practice by those responsible.

On April 26, 2024, the ten landowners of the water sources connecting to the main river, Sarakata River, which powers the Hydro Power project, closed the canal of the Hydro power. They stated that the closure followed discussions with the Government regarding compensation, but no action has been taken.

However, on Tuesday this week, the Pereifalo family provided a statement regarding the issue through one of their family members, Obed Perei, clarifying their disagreement and urging the Government not to compensate them since the Hydro Power Project has not damaged any of their environment.

“We, the Pereifalo family, where the Santo Hydro Power is located, thought that the group of individuals who claimed they are the landowners of the 10 streams that connect to the main river should not close the Hydro power.

“We have been declared as true Custom owners and we are the ones who obtained the green certificate on the land that the Hydro Power is located on. Such practice is referred to as trespassing on our area since the court have not given them any right on our land.

“The purpose of the grouping seeking compensation from the Government is that they only want to take money from the Government,” the Pereifalo family stated.

They go on to state that therefore, the Government should not compensate them, since the Hydro project has not damage any of their environment in their claimed stream and land, unless the court certified that they are the real land owners of the source of water that came out from their land.

“We want to make it clear that the ten streams these individuals are claiming as their water source are miles away from the actual location of the hydro power project.

“Instead of addressing their concerns at the correct site, they have come to the hydro power project's location, which is in a different area, and are demanding its closure while demanding compensation from the government. We view this as a dishonest practice,” they concluded in their statement.

The Pereifalo family is currently in Port Vila to have discussions with the Minister responsible for the Hydro Power project to compensate them.

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