by Bethanie Harriman – EMTV News, Lae
People living at the flood-prone Timini village, along the Bulolo Highway, have developed a disaster risk management plan, after floods threatened lives and destroyed their food gardens.
It’s an important plan that will ensure the people are prepared for the worst.
Timini village didn’t have proper plans in place to help them deal with the effects of disasters.
They now have a disaster risk management plan. The International Office for Migration helped them formulate one.
On the February 2, the people practiced an emergency drill which they learned and will continue to practise.
In 2013, the village suffered from floods when rivers burst their banks. Food gardens were destroyed.
“Timini is located next to rivers between mountains, the people are likely to be hit by flash floods,” says Simon Kafu, an IOM Emergency Specialist.
Timini’s story of 2013 was a small case that could have been handled better if provincial authorities had a disaster management plan in place.
Last year, during the drought, most places received little assistance. Some got none at all.
Sluggish bureaucracy and lack of funding slowed down relief assistance to the area.
The general sentiment in places prone to disasters like Timini is they need to be more self-aware before disaster hits.
Many Papua New Guineans feel they can’t rely heavily on their own government for help.
“We were for a long time in danger from the risk of floods and we have already suffered,” says Timini villager, Ann Lucas.
According to the IOM, the sustainability of the Timini disaster plan relies on the communities will to be prepared.
The next time a flood does come, the Timini people will be prepared.
Food security measures will have been taken and the Disaster Committee members will be prepared with drills that have been practised.