The National, Tuesday, June 7th 2011
By PISAI GUMAR
INLAND and coastal villages along the Waria River, on Morobe south coast, Huon Gulf, are facing major flooding caused by heavy rainfall.
Continuous heavy rain during the past four days had caused rivers to burst their banks, destroying food and cash crops gardens and flooded villages.
The two church buildings, a permanent building in Saigara village and new bush material church for Dona village had been inundated.
A flu outbreak since last month was reportedly seeing more people being admitted to the Zaka health centre.
Major villages along the river include Zare, Aingse, Saigara, Dona and hamlets like Wiari, Sabewa, Gonero, Bemu, Nima and Saima, all of which had been flood and people there reported to have moved to higher ground.
The flood forced Zare Aingse and Toyare primary and village elementary school students to stay away from classes.
People from two coastal villages – Sapa and Kobo – that plant food gardens along the river plains at Dubira, Muyedaira and Nima have lost food gardens.
“As it is always, the colour of the Waria changes into thick brown and greyish milky stuff flooded all the gardens,” Dziauwa Dziauwa said.
“The depth of the river measured at the middle of village foyer was up to shoulder height.
“Our crops will all go rotten because some five to 10 inches of thick mud will settle to cover the root crops especially taro, kaukau and cassava.”
Village leaders, Inonase Guma and Dziauwa called using a cell phone at Yamega Mountain to report the situation yesterday, saying it was similar to that in 1991.
“Our food gardens were covered, drinking and cooking water is affected as we use the Waria River for cooking, washing and drinking.
“It is likely that many will suffer stomach pains from eating rotten food and drinking dirty river,” Dziauwa said.