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Port Moresby
March 8, 2021

Disaster Assistance

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People affected by the floods and landslips in Southern Highlands Province are starting to receive food relief from the Provincial Disaster Office.

Continuous bad weather is also hampering efforts to reach remote locations which are accessible by air.


Preliminary assessment by the disaster office show more than 40 thousand people are affected by the floods and landslips in the province.


Continuous rainfall in Southern Highlands Province for the last four weeks has left parts of the province flooded with food gardens, houses inundated, livestock either washed away or drowned, and roads cut off as a result of land slips.


The National Disaster office made K200, 000, available as mobilisation funds, and the provincial disaster office has used this money to conduct initial relief and assessment activities.


The media was taken on an aerial tour of the province, and live footage was captured of the aftermath of the floods.


While the flood waters have receded, food gardens and houses along the path of the floods have now all been destroyed, and many people need assistance to start all over.


Access to this village is only by air, and given the bad weather, attempts to bring relief supplies to this village on Monday were unsuccessful.


The people also shared stories of the plight of other people living along the mouth of Erave River.


Local Member, James Lagea was with the media in the villages, and while expressing his sympathy for their dilemma, promised to assist them with building materials, blankets and other necessities.


Also in the Kagua Erave electorate, the Kuare River burst its banks and swallowed everything in its path.


The Catholic Church in this ward is now under water, the road is cut off and these highlands people are using dug outs to cross the river.


While the disaster office is slowly making progress to deliver relief supplies, the little they give is not enough to cater for populations affected, and Mr Pat said the announcement by NDC to further assist the province with K300, 000 was good news.


This, he said, is because most of the affected areas were only accessible by chopper, and most of the money was used in chartering helicopters.


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