Central Province Governor, Kila Haoda, said the province needs a better disaster response system.
He said this recently when delivering flood relief supplies to Kalo village, in the Rigo District.
Central Provincial Disaster and Emergency Advisor, Tumai Ipou, said continuous rain is expected for the next two months.
Such was the welcome for the Central Province Governor, he was carried by youth through the village, to the main dais.
Kalo village has a population of 3,000, who typically rely on root crops and banana as their staple diet. But recent continuous rains have destroyed their gardens.
Governor Haoda presented K23,000 worth of food relief supplies to Kalo.
Food items presented included 450 bags of 10kg rice, 40 tinned fish cartons, 20 flour bags, 15 cartons of cooking oil, and 15 cartons of noodles.
According to Governor Haoda, PNG has failed its people when it comes to responding to natural disasters.
Sometimes, relief arrives months late.
“When we talk about disaster, we are talking about the lives of people.”
He said money for disaster relief should be parked aside and be easily accessible when emergency strikes.
He apologised to his people for the Government’s late response (more than a month later), blaming it on the cumbersome procurement process and acute financial situation in the country, where Waigani was unable to fund provinces (PSIP) and districts (DSIP) adequately and on time.
“We need to change, we need a better system. We must have funds parked on the side all the time for natural disasters so when it strikes we can quickly attend to it now,” Governor Haoda said.
A total of K69,000 worth of food relief supplies are for flood affected people in the Rigo and Hiri electorates.
Officers from the national and provincial Department of Agriculture and Livestock (DAL) were also there and delivered 50 kilograms of cassava cuttings and 100 kilograms of hybrid corn seedlings (that takes six weeks to mature).
Central province Disaster and Emergency Advisor, Tumai Ipou, said more relief supplies have been identified for the Launakalana, Biga, Bore, Niu Iruka, and other villages within the precinct of Kemp Welsh river that burst its banks during the heavy rains in February.
He said Mekeo and Goilala flood affected villages have been identified and K28,000 worth of food relief supplies were ready for distribution this week.
Also this week, Mr. Ipou said relief supplies will reach affected villages in the upper Central Rigo and Laloki areas.