Ha‘asini water committee's fight against FWC begins

The Ha’asini Water Committee trying to block a construction site  fearing it might cause infectious diseases to the village had last week opened its submission in the Nuku’alofa Supreme Court.

The committee sued the Free Wesleyan Church of Ha’asini (FWCH) for building a pastor’s house in an area known as Mala’e Vai ( field with water ).

They claimed the house is located close to the spring from where the village water is sourced.

The FWCH  and its lawyer, Tomasi Fakahua claimed they have a right to build in the area because they have leased it.

The court was told Mala’e Vai had been previously occupied by the villagers since the 1960s.  A typhoid fever struck the village at the time and it affected four of the villagers. A WHO geologist examined the water source and found out the water was contaminated by the surrounding houses’ sewerage disposal.  All the households were relocated to another area.

Since then the villagers considered mala’e vai as a zoned water land.

In the year 2000, however, the heir to the land, ‘Oliveti Puamau divided the territory and the FWCH leased one of the allotments.  FWCH has built a house for their pastor in their leased town allotment.

A witness, Loumaile Hakaumotu,  called by the plaintiff’s lawyer, Ofa Pouono emotionally told Judge Michael Scott that the building has caused chaos among families.

He tearfully asked Judge Scott to rule against the FWCH construction so that peace would be returned to these people.

The case is set to continue this week with more witnesses to be called by the plaintiff.

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