NGOs Assess Impact Of Dry Season In PNG Highlands

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Impacts on subsistence ag and water sources in remote area

By Michael Koma

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, September 13, 2015) – Two Non Governmental Organisations, Partners with Melanesia (PWM) and Karimui Resource Conservation Management Project Incorporation (KRCMPI) have jointly assessed the magnitude of the protracted dry spell on subsistence agriculture and water sources in Chimbu's remote Karimui area.

The assessment team, headed by KRCMPI's director John Anuobo Sethie, gauged views from the locals and assessed the effects of drought on the environment in isolated locations such as Negabo, Yogromaru, Sogo, Bosiamoru, Karimui station, Peria, Sigimaru, Karepa and Yuro.

Mr Sethie said the long dry season was having devastating effects on the flora and fauna on the Karimui plateau where KRCMPI's activities were centered.

He told journalists at Karimui station that KRCMPI has "indefinitely suspended all its activities" in proportionate to environmental preservation and conservation in the face of the protracted dry spell.

The organisation's activities includes bird diversity, consensus building, rainforest literary, sustainable livelihood, community reforestation and climate change.

KRCMPI's aims and aspirations are underpinned by Partners with Melenesia (PWM), a Port Moresby-based NGO, apart from other sources.

PWM has deployed its technical officer to Karimui last Tuesday to assess the magnitude of the drought plus the consequences and the reactions of the inhabitants.

He said PWM was concerned with the negative effects of drought on the vegetation, water sources and foods crops in Karimui.

"We hope rain will soon be falling on the Karimui plateau to water the vegetation and revive the water sources," he said.

The El Nino weather phenomenon has devastated the subsistence agriculture and water sources in the area.

Tribal leaders flocked to the Karimui government station last Wednesday and called on the local MP Mogerema Sigo Wii to provide relief food aid for the drought-stricken inhabitants.

The remote Karimui area lies approximately 350km south of Kundiawa, the provincial capital and is accessible only by light aircraft due to the non existence of an access road. The area boosts a population of 20,000 people.

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