By Delly Waigeno – EMTV News, Port Moresby
The El Nino-induced drought has taken a serious toll on the people living in the Samberigi valley, in the Southern Highlands Province.
They have not had any rain or water since April this year due to the extreme weather that’s currently affecting the country.
However, Oil Search came to their aid this week, delivering much need food supplies to the people of Powabi village in the Samberigi valley.
The Samberigi valley in the Southern Highlands Province was not immune to the effects of the El Nino situation experienced in many parts of the country.
On account of companies like Oil Search, the people of Powabi village are now able to have some access to needed food supplies.
The donation to the Powabi people is part of Oil Search’s drought relief assistance for communities where the company operates in the 3 provinces of Hela, Southern Highlands and Gulf.
The drought relief efforts started in Kutubu and Hides two weeks ago, with the distribution of rice bags, tinned fish and noodles to begin with.
The Oil Search drought initiative will cover 94 villages and reach more than 27,000 people in the three provinces.
A woman leader in the community said the valley has not seen rain since April, and kaukau gardens have dried up.
People here not only rely on its rivers to wash, drink, cook and do laundry but also to prepare their sago. What used to be an easy chore, with the river located right next to their village has become a tiresome task, having to walk a long distance to fetch water in the thick jungle away from their village or pay a K10 PMV fare to travel further away in search of sago.
Oil Search Community Affairs Manager, Paul Sapake, told the villagers that as a member of that community, Oil Search was aware of their situation and was happy to assist in their time of need.