By WALLACE KIALA
GIRUA landowners, in Oro province have agreed to have a by-pass built over the Girua River for a part payment of K100,000 after negotiations with the Popondetta chamber of commerce and industry and the provincial disaster officials.
Provincial disaster coordinator Albert Bogembo said yesterday that vehicles and the public had started accessing the by-pass from last weekend. The landowners agreed to this arrangement as part of the K600,000 promised during the 2007 state of emergency in Oro province after Cyclone Guba.
Mr Bogembo said despite this development and with the rain season setting in, villagers’ food gardens were destroyed and they were in need of urgent food relief supplies.
But National Disaster Centre (NDC) director Martin Mose yesterday said relief efforts from the Government would only take place if rehabilitation went beyond the capability of the province and there was a full report after the four provincial assessment teams at the affected villages.
Mr Mose said NDC had received a submission from the province seeking relief assistance for about 10,000 people who had been affected by last week’s floods.
“The number (10,000) of affected people that we received and the report seemed to be abstracted, meaning that the number of people that really needed help is less than what is given by the province.”
He said the Government would only respond when villages that have been completely devastated “have zero means” to get on with their lives.