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Port Moresby
January 19, 2021
News

Manus Disaster Relief

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Hundreds of villagers living on the islands, atolls and coral keys of Manus Province have been forced by Mother Nature to resort to feeding on coconuts and fish for survival.

Local reports and assessment have confirmed that the area hardest hit is the Nigoherm Electorate in the north western islands of the province.

 

Manus Open Member, Ronny Knight, and a team of officials visited the islands to see firsthand the plight of the disaster affected islands.

 

They brought along with them 30 tons of relief supplies in the form of rice, flour, sugar and noodles which were distributed among the islanders.

 

Mr. Knight said K100, 000 was supplied by the National Disaster office to purchase the relief supplies. The Prime Minister has also pledged an additional K300, 000 for relief.

 

The islanders and concerned authorities attributed this disaster to climate change. King tides, high seas and heavy winds in the past weeks inundated the islands, destroying food gardens and homes.

 

The people are now feeding on coconuts and fish for survival as all staple food crops such as sago, taro, kaukau, and tapioca have been affected.

 

Unfortunately, the supply of coconuts is not sufficient enough for the affected populace, as the trees and nuts have been attacked by beetles.

 

Their main source of water is from underwater wells have been contaminated by sea water. Those with water tanks have stored their supply in them.

 

The Department of Environment and Conservation have also offered their assistance.

 

Secretary Gunther Joku advised Mr. Knight that a team from his department will be accompanying the member and his officials to the affected island in 2-3 weeks’ time to assess and find a solution to the problem.

 

In the meantime, the islanders are fearing starvation. They say that the impact of the devastation will take from months to years to recover considering that the local hula or swamp taro takes up to 3 years to harvest, while sago is expected to take up to 10 years.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=jupnzefHPec%3Ffeature%3Doembed%26wmode%3Dopaque%26showinfo%3D0%26showsearch%3D0%26rel%3D0

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