Celebrations dampered in Jiwaka

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday 19th September 2012

ABOUT 60 people living along the Waghi River in Jiwaka’s North Waghi district were badly affected by flood during the Independence Day.
Continuous heavy rainfall in the province since last week caused the Waghi River to burst its banks, destroying food gardens, houses and sweeping away domestic animals.
The clans affected are Galku, Olingor and Kanluku living near Waghi Bridge.
The people lost everything they planted along the river banks when the flooding hit on Sunday night.
The food crops destroyed included kaukau, banana, taro, peanuts, cucumber, cabbage, onion, aibika, corn, carrot, pawpaw trees, beans, pumpkins and many others.
The people were in mourning when The National visited the site on Monday.
Among the affected villagers were Mariana Simon, Penny Kamb, Peter Kamb, Lucas Julie and Pricilla Paul whose gardens located along the river banks remained covered by water and other rubbish carried by the flooded river.
“My family and I were sleeping when the water came in and soaked our bedding and woke us up,” Simon said.
“We didn’t know what to do, we just woke and quickly left everything behind and rushed to higher ground in fear of drowning.”
She said many of her people had made gardens along the river banks because of the fertile soil but these were all destroyed.
Peter Kamb said two pig houses were covered by water. He lost a total of six pigs – two drowned and four washed away.
He said eight families living along the river banks escaped in the night to higher ground but their possessions were covered by mud.
He said no one drowned but property worth thousands of kina had been destroyed.
Kamb said the villagers would soon face hunger and called on the provincial disaster and emergency office to visit the affected site, assess the damages and help them with relief supplies.
He said rain was still falling and he expected more flood and destruction to occur.