Juffa Says Government Should Do More to Mitigate El Nino Situation in PNG

By Delly Waigeno – EM TV News, Port Moresby

Papua New Guinea, like many parts of the world is already feeling the effects of the extreme weather or El Nino.

Parts of the country are seeing long dry spells, affecting crops and water supply. 

Governor for Northern Province, Gary Juffa, said the government should put more effort into mitigating the effects of El Niño in the country.

“We were warned about the El Niño. This is what scientists have termed a Monster El Niño. It’s going to last until April 2016. It is worse than the El Niño of 1997. What mitigating actions have we taken? Absolutely nothing,” Mr Juffa said. 

He said the government should involve appropriate organisations to carry out mass awareness, telling people what to do and how to manage during the El Niño period.

“Government should have gone about engaging the Health Department, the Education Department, the Department of Provincial and Local Level Government in carrying out significant awareness so that the people know what to do; how to manage this situation; how to survive,” Mr Juffa said. 

Mr Juffa said vital information’s such as a hotline number, growing drought-resistant crops and preventing diseases during the dry spell, should all be made public. 

“There should be a Hotline, there should be a National Policy, there should be a provincial Government Policy. We have one. The Oro [Northern] province has a disaster policy, we have a disaster management unit that keeps us informed,” Mr Juffa said. 

He said the funds being committed to assist affected communities or mitigation programs should be closely monitored to ensure that the most basic needs are delivered to the people for survival.

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