[Documents menu]History of Melanesia
Date: Sun, 18 Jun 1995 20:32:53 -0500
Sender: "NATIVE-L Aboriginal Peoples: news & information" <NATIVE-L@TAMVM1.TAMU.EDU> From: rainfor.general@gnosys.svle.ma.us
Subject: East Fataleka, Solomon Islands
Original Sender: dse@pactok.peg.apc.org

Logging a real pain to East Fataleka people

From dse@pactok.peg.apc.org
18 June 1995

Let me take you to East Fataleka, to the vicinity of Ataa-Manu region. There lie the villages of Subobono,Manasuu,Fourau Odou, Sanori and Manu. Not long ago this area was the envy of a lot of people.

For example, the isthmus that joins Manu to Fourau displays one of the most diverse of environments.

Take a walk from Manu to the village of Manasuu. In the past there were a lot of orchids along the way you see a lot of "nonora" pieces of lands occasionally jutting out towards the ocean.

There are also coconut palms which afford shade and ready food and drink for the wearry travellers. As you continue along the last nonora you see the old village of Odou where my aunt- Rachael Fasifera- hails from.

Thereafter, the white beach stretches from the present village of Odou to Manasuu, one of the most magnificent scenes on Malaita

Today, the whole area around Ataa harbour has witnessed some of the most controversial court cases between the people and logging companies. The tolo people and the salt water people went against each other.

The Olu Fera people against members of the nonora clan and whole Ataa people against the many logging companies that have come. In the end, it is the environment and the people who have suffered. And suffer they still do.

Today, the whole area has changed after logging companies (including Maving Brothers who are presently involved in the Pavuvu controversy) have operated there. People who go to their gardens and those who have to collect ventricles from the bush have to get home before sun down. The swarms of mosquitoes that assault the people is something never witnessed before.

The trees and food plants which have held the land together have been eradicated. Mosquitoes seek new reuges where thy have not been before.

Even the inland people who have, hither to never witnessed mosquitoes in those parts of the land are now complaining that mosquitoes are a reall pest after the sun goes down.

Added to that is the high rate of malaria cases in that region. The increase in mosquitoe population means that people are bitten more oftenn than before.

Young children who have low immunity carry the bane of "development" which they could hardly be held responsible for.

The leader who allowed the introduction of investors could never understand the pain their people carry.

Ata'a Harbour has, for periods immemorial witnessed the seasonal return of the 'asaunga' -buma time and again. The asaunga feeds on small prawns that come down the Wanaa and the Ataa rivers.

With the introduction of heavy machinery oil spills and river pollution are a real threat to the prawns and subsequently, the asaunga.

To add further damage to injury the Ataa people are ot only industrious (many of whom are betel-nut sellers at the market) but the area has an increasing youthful population who would would have to depend on thhe fecundity of the natural environments for food and income.

They will now be short-changed because of the destruction brought about by logging companies.

It would be a matter of time before the full onslaught of the rape of the environment be felt.

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