Mother of five recalls the horror of Gabensis flooding


IT was around midday when water came rushing into the house, recalls mum of five Miriam Bonny of Gabensis village in the Wampar local level government area of Morobe.
It was the start of one of the worst floods in memory in the area, she says.
Water was everywhere. The substance that was supposed to give life was gushing through the doors and every gap or space on the walls and floor, bringing with it “my life’s hopelessness”.
Bonny recalled the disaster that swept away homes and food gardens on July 30, like it was yesterday.
She could not help tears roll down her cheeks.
The impact had been such that people from at least 200 households were badly affected. The worst-off – most of them – lost their homes and gardens. Those who did not saw the homes soaked and rot over the last two weeks and most of them were not able to live or sleep in them up until this week. Others like Bonny and her family moved into a care centre.
Bonny said people did not know where to go and what to do because the flood took them by surprise after the Gabensis River broke its banks and even found a new direction. Such was the amount of rainfall and force of the river combined with damaging debris.
“We only saved what we have now, all our belongings, including food gardens, livestock and other things were washed away on that day,” she said.
“People in the village felt that something strange was coming and that is sure to cause casualties but luckily the disaster struck during the day.”
Asked if there was a possibility of relocating the village to another location, Bonny said it would be very hard as land was becoming an issue.
Whatever future there is for Bonny and the family is anyone’s guess. But with life still in them there is a chance, Bonny said. Scarce they maybe, they are gratefully holding on to them at the safety of the care centre at the Gabensis Primary School, thinking they may have left some evil spirits around the river behind them.

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