Food shortage looming

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MANAM islanders currently living on the island will run out of food soon after their gardens were destroyed by another eruption on Tuesday.
Dugulava ward councillor Paul Maburau said he had been receiving requests since yesterday for help from the islanders who left the care centre at Bogia to go back to the island after facing hardships.
“There was a huge flow of lava between Dugulava and Madauri which was the same route lava flowed through during the 1996 eruption which killed 15 people,” he said.
“With the current eruption, no people were harmed, but food gardens for the people of Yassa, Kuluguma, Boda, Baliau and Boisa Island are affected.
“More than 3,000 people are affected because their gardens were destroyed.
“With the continuous volcanic activity, more gardens and crops will be destroyed in the coming days and these people will really need urgent intervention.”
Maburau said students had been affected as teachers from Baokao Primary School at Dugulava had left the school because of the eruption.
“We urgently need fuel to be on standby if anything serious happens and if we need to relocate the islanders. The volcano is not something new as we have faced this over the years and we need to be on standby, ready to help,” he said.
Maburau said the Government needed to have a better plan for Manam islanders as the volcano was still active.
He said people could not be moved to the mainland and back every time there was an eruption.
Maburau said three villages had been destroyed by the eruption and a plan was needed to resettle the islanders once and for all.