ABOUT 60 deaths have been reported in remote Kaintiba and Kotidanga districts in Gulf province, reportedly from shortage of food.
New reports by parish priest of Kanabea mission station in Kaintiba confirmed that 60 people had died since the start of the rainy season that destroyed all the crops in the gardens.
Catholic priest Fr Phil Sivi, in his report collected from catechists in small communities in Kanabea, stated that many elderly people including small children had died from starvation and developing illnesses.
The report was faxed to Caritas head office in Port Moresby yesterday.
“We are afraid that if no action is taken to help the hungry and the sick in the affected villages, more and more people will die,” Fr Phil stated in the report.
He said they could not determine the actual cause of the deaths because community health workers hag left the affected villages and were residing in town.
“The catechists I spoke to during our briefing said there were no health workers on ground to look into the health status of the villages where deaths were reported,” he added.
Fr Phil met with 20 catechists from communities in the district that were affected and they reported on the number of people that died.
The reported places that deaths occurred include Hadave (3), Wemana (9), Yeka (5), Manimango (5), Kaminakuaiva (6), Famba (3), Aminawa (1), Wake (5), Komako (6), Yokua (7) and Mbu’u (10).
Fr Phil explained that not many people were affected by food shortage.
“Not all of Kotidanga is affected by food shortage.
The communities that are badly affected are the ones that have been reported.”