By Elizabeth Guka – EMTV Cadet Journalist, Port Moresby
The Central Provincial Government has declared an administrative emergency, following ongoing flooding in parts of the province.
As a result, all administrative affairs and functions of the Central provincial government will be suspended in order to deal with the disaster related areas affected by major flooding from rivers.
With the declaration of an administrative emergency, all normal administrative operations have been suspended, to allow for relief efforts to begin in areas affected by recent heavy rains and strong winds.
According to Acting Provincial Administrator, Peter Simbakua, says that the administration has begun the task of compiling statistics and completing assessments from affected areas, so that relief supplies are distributed.
“The measure that I am taking as the acting provincial administrator, I’ve declared an administrative emergency. “Our normal for provincial administration has been suspended, and we have now switched to emergency mode. “We are in the emergency services right now,” Simbakua said.
Mr Simbakua said the monitoring of natural disasters started late last year, with the expectation that El Nino weather pattern would affect the country this year.
However, instead of experiencing drought, the central province, including parts of Port Moresby, experienced rough winds and torrential rain for the last two weeks, leading to flooding, destruction of food crops and properties, and even the loss of lives.
“And during the shut-down period, that was the phase one of our monitoring. “The start of our operation was monitoring the disaster, which was anticipated for drought across the province,” he added.
The provincial administration is now taking necessary steps to deal with the flooding disaster in both east and west of the province.
Mr Simbakua added, “Our response now, the priority is drinking water. “We have the health team, who have put together their plans, as an emergency plan to support our plan of action. “We are in the phase two now. “Phase two is the onset of the disaster, the disaster surveying and assessment. “We are now in phase three, which is the declaration of provincial emergency services, and in the next seven days we will be assessing the situation.”
A committee has been formed to work closely with the provincial office of disaster and climate change, to ensure that necessary steps are taken in dealing with the disaster.
“We are focusing on dividing ourselves into teams, to support the district disaster team. “Hiri is directly supported by the PHQ, and Goilala is supported by the PHQ. “Bereina has dispatched six teams yesterday, they did their assessment, and the team has reported that they have done their assessment,” he said.