CHILDREN are being hospitalised in the Dei district of Western Highlands province after being forced to eat what little they could find after floods destroyed and contaminated food supplies.
Five children, including an infant, were admitted to hospital after complaining of diarrhoea, vomitting and stomach aches.
Villagers from Dei and South Waghi have complained of the stench from rotten food and decaying animals.
They said the shortage of food is due to their gardens being completely destroyed by the flood.
When the water receded after a week our food gardens were already decomposed, they said.
This flood was caused by the Gumanch River which burst its banks after continuous heavy rains in the province last month.
Community leader Jameson Konts said a provincial disaster committee had assessed the situation but nothing had been done to date to help the victims.
“The people are suffering but they are lucky to have helpful relatives and neighbours who were not affected by the flood,” he said.
Some homes were rebuilt while others are being maintained and some villagers are still taking refuge with relatives elsewhere.
Mr Konts called on the provincial and national disaster offices as well as their local MP Puri Ruing, Governor Tom Olga, and other authorities to provide help in their time of need.
“It is not the first time the river has burst its banks. It is time the authorities take preventive measures by diverting the Gumanch River into Waghi River,” he said.
The affected tribes include Kombugla, Minimbi, Tepka, Rogloka, Kukulka, Warrki, Welli and rural settlers.