THOUSANDS FACE STARVATION IN PNG’S MILNE BAY

admin's picture

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Feb. 4, 2008) - Women, children and the elderly living along Milne Bay’s mainland Rabaraba, particularly in the villages Biniguni, Kwagira and Kewansasap, are faced with starvation.

Death in terms of their gardens having been destroyed by the flood that hit the area in November. The flood caused by Cyclone Guba has left more than 13,000 homeless, hungry and gardens ruined. People in these villages rely on their food gardens and what they can get from the environment like hunting and fishing.

The first lot of supplies have reached the area brought in by the PNGDF Navy thanks to Red Cross and residents of Papua New Guinea who have given with their heart.

But not all is well with villages in need of food, clothing, fishing nets, cooking utensils, shelter and medicine. Residents at the Rabaraba station where the food has been dropped for Biniguni, Kwagira and Kewansasap villages have confirmed that people in the nearby villages have been stealing goods including clothing, cooking utensils and water containers destined for the needy.

The provincial disaster and the district administrators have set up a committee to look at the villages, including villages in the island which are still suffering from the flood damage. It is reported that officers are not acting quick enough let alone going on foot patrol to assess the damage. "I have walked to these areas with four of my volunteers Jimmy Boga, Gibson, Damaya, Dawn Matasororo, Dorea Kaisa and Laurie Kaisa to assess the situation. We waded through mud that was a metre high, climbed over debris, old logs, crossing rivers and mountains to get to the affected areas," Red Cross Milne Bay branch chairman Graham Gabe said.

"Red Cross is aiming to continue helping the people of Biniguni, Kwagira and Kewansasap before the end of this week bringing in more supplies. After that the situation will be left to the Provincial Disaster Centre or the National Disaster to take the lead."

Meanwhile, Masurina have raised PGK4,000 [US$1,484] during a Milne Bay Flood Appeal Corporate Charity Ball over the weekend.

"We will be having more fundraising activities like this here at Masurina Lodge in the months to come," Masurina event coordinator, Christina Aule said.

The ball could have been more successful if all MPs of the province were present for this cause.

Companies that came forth to support included Nawae Construction, Nur Printing Works and Islands Petroleum.

Ela Motors managing director, Wally Haydok was there to give PGK2,000 [US$742].

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment