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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Feb. 18) – Papua New Guinea’s National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) is not aware of the Aitape flood that has caused food and water shortages in the past month.

When contacted yesterday, NDMO director general Colonel Eric Ani, told The National that he has not yet received any official information from the affected district.

Mr Ani said he was still waiting for provincial advisors to brief him on the disaster.

"At the moment, we do not know what happened," he said adding that an assessment report from the province would tell him what kind of help the people need so that his office would respond.

"That assessment report would advise us on what to do. If they need our help, we can assist," he said.

Acting Health Secretary, Dr Timothy Pyakalyia, also expressed similar sentiments.

He said that his office has yet to be contacted. But he said that if the situation is serious, he would ensure that medical supplies are sent to help those affected.

Villages and settlers in Aitape are reported to be facing severe food and water shortages following heavy flooding in the past month in Aitape. 

Authorities fear that those affected may be vulnerable to diseases if preventative measures are not taken quickly. The villages reportedly affected are Poro, Wauningi, Siaute, Wom, Pes Catholic Mission station, Aiserap, Marok, Wilam Ex-servicemen Camp, Poltulul and Yakoi on the outskirts of Aitape.

February 19, 2004

The National:


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