Islanders responded well to drought: Envoy

The National,Tuesday July 5th, 2016

UNITED Nations special envoy on climate issues, Macharia Kamau came away impressed after visiting communities on Kiriwina Island in Milne Bay.
He was surprised to see how people in the village had responded to the recent drought which caused so much devastation in the country.
“My take-away was that the people of Liluta and Mutaua communities in Kiriwina have an amazing resilience. By the time help came, the worst of the crisis was already over,” he said.
“This is a positive sign that Papua New Guineans have the capabilities and knows how to respond to crisis and emergencies at the community level. The people have responded well.”
But he still thinks the Government and the people can do more to build capability to withstand and to overcome extreme weather conditions without having to rely on emergency responses from external partners.
He points out the need for urgent response by the Government to secure water sources for the people on Kiriwina Island.
Kamau is on a mission to go around the world and make a strong case on El Nino, droughts and various weather conditions.
He will talk with governments and communities, raise awareness, and seek development solutions to help communities and governments respond. The solutions are expected to accelerate the execution of policies to respond to weather events around the world.
The continuous repetition of climate and weather conditions have been a concern for the Government and the international communities.
“The Government and the international communities have to find better ways of working together.
“Improving partnerships between UN and the Government and between the donor community and Government,” he said.