By Bethanie Harriman, EMTV News – Lae
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has handed over a disaster response plan to the Waria Local Level Government, for the Garaina Station and surrounding communities who are prone to drought and food shortages.
Amidst Morobe’s financial problems is the drought disaster that has struck the province, affecting people in Waria, Menyamya, Kabwum and other areas.
The IOM team left Nadzab Airport on Friday morning with Chief of Mission, George Gigauri, and top provincial government bureaucrats handing over the disaster plan to the Waria people.
Papua New Guinea is facing its economic challenges, and is also facing a continuing dry spell being handled by district authorities, provincial government and the national government.
But, what’s more important is that Papua New Guinea is receiving support from international organisations.
IOM is reviving traditional systems of dealing with disasters by combining these with modern ways.
“We should use technology, whenever we can, because that’s the point of using technology, to help the people, but there are certain areas like this one here (Garaina) where you can’t get here by truck, you can’t drive, it takes 40 minutes to fly here, so if disaster strikes the first response is the people here,” Gigauri said.
“So what we need to do is find a cost effective solution that the people can use themselves, it’s a bottom up approach, let’s focus on what we already know and what we can already do,” he added.
Saving costs is exactly what the Morobe Provincial Government needs at this time, when dealing with a financial crisis and managing drought.
Deputy Provincial Administrator for Social Services, Sheila Haro, says the province is surviving on internal revenue that is now also facing a shortfall.
“In terms of the national money coming down, we have no control over it, it’s now mid-year and we haven’t received 50 per cent or any of that in our budget 2016, as yet, but we have enough internal revenue to keep us running services,” says Haro.
The nationwide drought last year hit Morobe also, and those places severely affected were aided with a provincial government budget allocation of K1 million.
“The K1 million budget last year was given to priority areas, severely affected by the drought according to a planned program,” says Provincial Disaster Director, Charlie Masange.
The people of Garaina now have a plan, but the implementation of the plan when disaster strikes remains to be seen.
IOM and other relevant authorities though say that they will not neglect them.