By Serah Aupong – EM TV, Port Moresby
Touru villagers, on the Motuan Coast of the Central province, are facing adverse effects of climate change.
The Touru section of Gaire village has had to deal with a sudden change in the course of a river near their village, and the rise in sea levels that has caused destruction to houses. Touru is located, about 40 minutes’ drive away from Port Moresby city.
They’ve called on relevant authorities to provide assistance to them.
The rising sea levels have forced villagers to move inland, away from the coastline.
Alice and Evelyn are married to brothers. Their houses were initially built 50 metres from where they are now. They have been forced to demolish their permanent houses, and build make shift houses.
Last week, villagers had to relocate again when the nearby river’s tides changed; flowing directly to where the houses stood.
Ward Councillor, Kema Sere, says the river has dramatically changed the landscape of their coastline. And as a fishing community, this has greatly affected their livelihood.
Along the same stretch of beach, 93 year old Naime Haroro sits and contemplates his uncertain future. He has never seen anything like this before. He shares the same fate, forced to demolish a four bedroom family home which he shared with his sons and grandchildren.
The people are worried that with the continued increase in the sea level and the change of the course of the river, more houses will be knocked down not in a matter or years, but in a matter of days.
Councillor Kema says as a community they some ideas on how this can be addressed but need relevant authorities to assist them.