By Tokana Hasavi Jnr – EM TV, Port Moresby
From this month to March, the country’s New Guinea Islands have been put on alert by the National Weather Service, to anticipate a large amount of rainfall.
The country’s Highlands Region have also come under the radar. The region may experience heavy rain resulting in landslips, while PNG’s Southern part is predicted to endure a few dry spells, strong winds and rain.
I spoke to the country’s Weather Service Director, Samuel Maiha, to reveal the repercussions that these weather conditions will have on the country’s vital infrastructure and economy.
Mr. Maiha was more anxious about the traditional subsequent and opposite of El Nino – La Nina.
The country is currently experiencing a ‘weak’ El Nino, but the effects of La Nina that follow, have been predicted to cause natural disasters.
Mr. Maiha said, NGI and Highlands’ roads and bridges stand to deteriorate causing taxpayers millions of kina worth of maintenance work and social relief efforts; agricultural commodities like cocoa, oil palm and copra will see diminishing production, due to the substantial amount of rainfall expected in the next 90 days.
The Director described the prediction as a ‘scary situation’.
He urged all NGI Provincial Governments to start preparing for the worst and allocate funding for relief supplies and efforts.
Mr. Maiha confirmed that forecasts show no sign of PNG’s 1997 El Nino, but floods, heavy downpour and and strong winds will prevail as a result from La Nina.
Climate Compatible Development was emphasized by Mr. Maiha as the key alleviating factor, that should see the country’s infrastructure withstand the impacts from La Nina.
Developing Papua New Guinea’s infrastructure to endure the effects of extreme climate change will attain durable, longer lasting roads and bridges.
Mr. Maiha encouraged the Government to be weary and ensure that relevant authorities and agencies be fully prepared throughout the year.
The APEC Climate Center in unison with the PNG National Weather Service predicts an outlook of more rainfall in the next 30 years in PNG, which will will result in severe flooding and fewer droughts.