By LARRY ANDREW
MORE than 1,000 people living in the vicinity of the Lae Tidal Basin project site have been affected by flooding after heavy rain over the last two days.
The flood water levels reached up to 3m in some areas, damaging food gardens, affecting drinking water storage drums and almost reaching into homes.
The settlers said they feared the water could flood their homes if rain continued and called on PNG Ports and the Morobe government to help them relocate to safer grounds.
Chairman for the ward three Village Court (Lae Urban LLG) Magistrate Peter Wai said with the state of emergency on and a 14-day lockdown in place due to the coronavirus pandemic, the hardship faced by families in portion 508 at the Papuan Compound would only worsen if there was nothing done and if the rains continued.
Wai said the community had lost two children in a similar flood several years ago and this was the fourth time their area had been affected by flooding.
He appealed to Lae MP John Rosso and Morobe Governor Ginson Saonu to liaise with PNG Ports on how best to resettle the community to other parts of the city or they would continue to face the threat of flooding.
“The flood covered our vegetable and banana gardens which we survive on.
“We cannot get food from there,” Wai said.
He said hunger and disease were problems that faced the settlers with their gardens destroyed, drinking water storage affected and contaminated from flooded pit toilets. He said the settlers were anxious about how they would carry on during the lockdown period.
“After the lockdown period is over we want the government to relocate us.”
By LARRY ANDREW