Gulf people short of food

National, Normal


PEOPLE in the remote Kaintiba and Kontidanga districts in Gulf province are without food after heavy rain destroyed their food garden.
With heavy rain still falling in the area, people are now resorting to bartering what they can find with people from the neigbouring Menyamya district of Morobe province.
According to reports from the districts, more than 18,000 villagers have been surviving on greens and edible bush leaves since vegetables and other food crops were destroyed by continuous rain and bad weather.
“Now they are exchanging greens such as aibika and beans for vegetables from the nearby Menyamya district in the Morobe province as a means of survival,” parish priest from Bema Fr Ben said.
He said there were more than 15 villages which included Bema, Tanabia and Kamea situated up in the mountains that were affected.
Caritas group coordinator in the province, Joseph Puaka, said he had sent out notices to the provincial government including the administration authorities.
“The administrator has responded by flying a team from provincial disaster up to the districts to assess the situation and report to the National Disaster Centre for further action,” he added.
Director for NDC Martin Mose said he had not received any reports of the situation in the remote Gulf areas from the provincial disaster team.
“I am not aware of the situation in the inland area but have heard of coastal Ihu villages and other areas affected from floods. We have already responded to their needs,” he said.
The Caritas group in Port Moresby have met to discuss their plans in helping out with the situation and would soon announce the release of K10,000 to help people up in the rain-battered  mountains who were affected.