By Quinton Alomp – EM TV News, Port Moresby
Disaster Authorities in Western Province have reported an invasive species of rats that is attacking garden food crops.
The rats are eating bananas, taro and other garden produce.
North Fly electorate Disaster Coordinator, Greg Isau, says this has put people in a double disaster situation as El Nino continues to take a toll in the province.
“West Ningerum is badly hit by a rat attack. Double hit,” Isau said.
The rats are believed to have entered Western Province, particularly West Ningerum, from Indonesia through the land border.
He said as El Nino condition continues, the invasion of the rats is seen as another setback for the people who already are suffering from drought.
Reports of the rat attack have been compiled in the disaster assessment report that was presented to the National Disaster office.
Ningerum Local Level Government President, Kawuk Konmop, said public institutions like schools and health centres are badly affected.
Western province Inter Agency Disaster Committee Chairman, Richard Aria, said the province is in disaster category four and five.
“At this time clean water is the biggest problem. People are processing sago using dirty water,” Aria said.
The Authorities said sicknesses including water borne diseases, malaria, swollen faces and diarrhoea are increasing.