by Bethanie Harriman EMTV Lae
People in the Henganofi District of Eastern Highlands Province have blamed heat wave temperatures from the El Nino weather pattern for the increasing occurrences of fires in their area.
It comes as people struggle to find water and food in areas of savannah grassland in the district.
Yesterday during the country’s 40th Independence anniversary, relief supplies were delivered to places affected by the dry spell, while remaining supplies will be distributed today.
The heat wave in Henganofi has caused damage to food crops and depleted water reserves, and reduced the size of many essential creeks running through the district.
People are also taking advantage of the dry spell to burn grass along the valleys.
District authorities have advised people against storing oil, gas and petrol that may explode and cause fires.
Some people in the district have lost family homes, after they were victims of the dry weather and caught on fire.
Tony, a local resident, said he built a permanent home but is now handicapped, and three days ago his home burnt down, after flames erupted from within.
The cause of the fire is unknown, but he has blamed the heat wave that has gripped the district.
People are now of the opinion the increased occurrence of fires is to be laid purely on the El Nino weather pattern, but this cannot be proven to be correct.
The district is helping those who have been genuinely affected.
Yesterday, Henganofi MP, Robert Atiyafa, personally supervised the transportation of relief supplies on tipper trucks to the district.
K500,000 worth of relief supplies have reached the district thus far, with more to come.