Emergency News Papua New Guinea

Barter System an advantage to volcano-affected Manam Islanders

By Rachel Shisei – EM TV News, Madang

Villagers from Bodbod have donated more than 1,000 sago parcels and bags to those affected by the Manam Island Volcano eruption.

“We have all worked hard to prepare the raw sago, 1,425 bags of sago, now ready to be shipped to our sister island,” said Joe Kanako, the village recorder.

This is not the first time that Bodbod villagers have come together to help their sister village, just on the other side of the bay.

“This tradition that we value was practiced by our forefathers, passed down generations, and we are happy we still practice that,” said Tony Buzawa, a village Kukurai, or leader.

The villagers only asked for the provincial government disaster office’s help to provide fuel to transport the bags of sago to the islanders, to which one drum of fuel was provided.

The Provincial Disaster Coordinator, Rudolph Mongalee, told the Bodbod community and representatives of the Manam islanders, that the delay of response to their request for fuel to transport the food items is due to government protocol.

“It was a public holiday when I received your request, and I couldn’t run a cheque to have the payment for the fuel processed. It is not me, it is the government system that causes delay,” said Mongalee.

He also mentioned that other donations will be made by the RD Tuna Fish Cannery, which will see 1,000 cartons of tinned fish, as well as 43 tonnes of items from the Catholic church in Madang donated. 

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