By Meleasie Goviro – EMTV News, Port Moresby
The current drought and frost situation in the Highlands and Western region is far from over.
According to Father Roche, the situation in the Highlands has worsened. Although there have been scattered showers, food gardens will take longer to harvest.
People need food and clean water now.
The Government as well as other NGOs have been carrying ongoing relief supplies to mitigate the effect of drought on the population but little was known to determine if everyone was indeed getting the necessary help.
Caritas PNG in partnership with Caritas Australia deployed a research team to give a status of the relief supplies extent and have presented an update of these reports.
Representatives from the four Catholic Dioceses came with their reports and presented their proposals for immediate and long term plans.
They have identified 10,000 families who are in immediate need of food and water supply.
The Catholic Church has already given K300,000 for relief supplies so far, and with the help of Caritas New Zealand and Caritas Australia will provide further relief assistance to the Highlands and Western Province.
National Director of Caritas, Raymond Ton, described the need for relief supplies as large and beyond their full capabilities.
The Caritas ground team’s research helped to narrow the focus down in order to assist those in immediate need; the disabled, elderly the sick and orphans to name a few.
Mr. Ton said after assessing the situation they will roll out their short term and long term relief supply project in two phases; the first being to supply food and water for the families as pre-allocated.
According to Ton, phase one should begin in December and finish come March or April 2016 where phase two kicks in.
The second phase covers long term relief supplies in the form of water tanks, wash and sanitation projects in partnership with other NGOs.
The Church anticipates that about a million people will benefit from this project.