The National, Wednesday 4th January 2012
By YVONNE HAIP
HEAVY rain caused extensive flooding that damaged homes and food gardens belonging to Kondopina villagers near Kindeng, Jiwaka, after the Waghi River burst its banks.
Food gardens, two churches, an adult literacy school classroom, and houses were partially submerged on New Year’s Day.
Domestic animals and household items were swept away by flood waters.
Churchgoers keen to attend New Year services had to wade their way to church.
Others tried to drain water from their gardens and homes.
The same village was devastated by floods in 2009 and the government had to help by providing relief supplies.
The rural settlers, who live there are from Enga, Southern Highlands, Chimbu and Eastern Highlands, are largely involved in
vegetable farming through their Kondopina Waghi Flood Vegetable Farmers Cooperative Society.
They supply their crops to the Kutubu oil project in Southern Highlands, Ok Tedi copper mine in Western, Porgera gold mine in Enga, and the Kurumbukari nickel mine in Madang.
They sell vegetables to SuperValue Stores in Port Moresby, and recently secured a contract with the liquefied natural gas project in Southern Highlands.
Society chairman Mond Rangi and community spokesperson Gabriel Noglai said the villagers were likely to go hungry for the next six months because all their gardens had been destroyed.
They blamed the flooding on the poor drainage system built by a construction company contracted to upgrade the road.
They called on the provincial disaster and emergency relief division, and the government to assist them.