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By Sharon Engnui

On the 19th of September 2023, the National Weather service had declared that most parts of Papua New Guinea will be experiencing El Nino.  This dry period is said to last from year 2024 to 2025.

The Government has been urged to prepare for the worst; even families and communities are urged to plan ahead and be prepared.

This announcement was made by the Director for the National Weather Service Jimmy Gomoga.

Mr Gomoga explained the continuous dry season experienced in most parts of the country.

“The last six months we have been monitoring the rainfall, there is dry weather experienced in most parts of the country, I think most parts across the country receive below the average rainfall during the dry season except for the New Guinea Island Region, that’s Buka, East New Britain, New Ireland and Manus but the rest of the country receive below the average rainfall.”

Director Gomoga says this dry period the country is about to experience is labelled as hydrological drought where low water supply becomes evident.

“According to what we have now, there is still warming to occur right across the Pacific Ocean, what we are seeing now in the indicators is that it is comparable to 1997 and 1998 El Nino Event which caused widespread drought across the country.”

Mr Gomoga urged the government and individuals to prepare for this in terms of food and water security, highlighting that this El Nino will get worse in year 2024 to 2025.

“Start preparing, food security will be impacted, water security, these are very important for families to start planning, where they will be able to secure clean water, good drinking water and the supply of food.”

Acting Director for the National Weather Service Laso Mana announced that contingency plans are in place and the task now will be on the government to provide funding support to address this national disaster.

“We already have a contingency plan for drought and at the same time disaster management team have contingency plan as well, so we will merge everything and come up with a plan and see how we can respond or prepare for this upcoming drought.”

El Nino is the warming of the Ocean surface or above average sea surface temperature. The last time PNG experienced an El Nino was in 2015.

Meanwhile Prime Minister James Marape has announced that the government will make it their primary responsibility to address this disaster.

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