Flood affects Hela villagers

National

By JAMES APA GUMUNO
MORE than 5000 people from the North and South Koroba local level government in Hela have been affected by flooding from the Kemo River.
The Tapari underground cave, which the river flows through to meet the Hanimu River 15km downstream, was blocked on June 10 this year, forcing the Kemo river to flood the land upstream.
Affected are the Yalupa Wesleyan Church, Yalupa Community School, aid post, road from Yalupa to the Topani Catholic Church, Topani bridge, food and coffee gardens.
Ken Ekawi of the Wesleyan church and Hapiya Diwi, a Grade 12 student from Margarima Secondary School told The National yesterday that 65 homes were under water.
Ekawi said it was the second time the Kemo river outlet at the Tapari cave had been blocked. The first was in 2008 when the National Disaster and Emergency office provided them with food, water tanks and shelter costing K250,000.
He said the people were facing a shortage of food and clean water for drinking.
Diwi called on the national and provincial governments, Oil Search, ExxonMobil and the Porgera Joint Venture to assist.

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