Highlands News Papua New Guinea

Three Bridges Washed off in Flood: Upper Jimi without Road Access

Over 18,000 people at Upper Jimi in Jiwaka Province have been without road access for two weeks, after three bridges were washed away by floods.

While the center of attention has been placed on Hela and Southern Highlands Provinces after the 7.5 magnitude earthquake that occurred two weeks ago, people of Upper Jimi have also been dealing with their fair share of the catastrophe.

There are no reports of deaths, but an elderly woman was injured during the quake.

The three bridges that were washed away are the link to over 18,000 people living in Upper Jimi.

Two weeks now public servants have been using airplanes to transport their materials and food.

Jimi District Development Authority has been subsidizing three quarters of the air fares to allow the schools and clinics to operate.

As for the locals, they were forced to walk for more than 40 km’s to find food and clean water.

Jimi LLG Chief Executive Officer, Lawrence Itale, says it will cost at least K6 Million to build new bridges.

Locals said that the flood happened hours after the 7.5 magnitude earthquake; there was a heavy downpour and all the creeks and rivers flooded and completely washed the bridges away, including food gardens and houses.

A mother and her four small children were nearly washed away but were rescued by the locals.

An elderly woman suffered injuries when her house was buried under the landslip. She is currently receiving treatment at Kudjip hospital.

An engineering team from Jiwaka Provincial Government has gone to assess the damage.

Civil engineer, Thomas Max, said a lot of work and money is needed to restore the bridges.

Its road condition is poor and this electorate needs more attention from the Local, Provincial and National Government to link Jimi roads to the outside world.

Currently, 80 per cent of the population depends on air transport.

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