New Zealand’s Vivienne Yeki Pleads for Help on Behalf of Poroma People

Submitted by Vivienne Yeki from New Zealand

Vivienne Yeki from New Zealand pleads for help on behalf of the people of Poroma in Southern Highlands Province, as she sent this story to Mi Ripot after a phone conversation with Bamu Rumu in Poroma.

Mr Bamu Ramu, a community leader in Poroma is urgently requesting that food be sent to Poroma as more than 600 people have come out of the most remote locations seeking his help.

As yet, although Bamu has provided shelter for everyone, they have still not received aid and have been without food for nearly a fortnight.

Mr Ramu is a tribal leader with responsibility for hundreds of people within the area in Poroma. He is also an official Care Centre District Coordinator.

“Our people have converged on his land by the hundred. They are staying at Ulira station, just out of Poroma. These people have made their way through dangerous, shifting terrain to get to his perceived ‘sanctuary’.

Last week, Bamu messaged Mrs Yeki that numbers were swelling daily and that he expected the total to be a thousand plus within days. They are now desperate for food. As the people coming in from Kutubu rely on sago as their staple diet, with the water supply contaminated they are stranded. Rice, tin fish and water purification tablets would be more than enough to sustain them.”

Please note that of the five districts in the Southern Highlands, the Nipa-Kutubu district was hardest hit by the 7.6 magnitude earthquake on February 26 and again by the 6.8 magnitude earthquake on March 1.

He is a man with great integrity, has tremendous local knowledge of the Poroma, Kutubu and Mendi people, region and roads and would assist your NGO-connected teams in any way possible. He can also be contacted via his daughter’s email: or on mobile (675) 7391 9954.

Images: The photos of people were taken in Poroma before the quake in happier days. The ‘haus man’ (men’s house) is still standing but the bottom photo is one in the area that has collapsed.

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