The National –Thursday, January 6, 2011
By ALISON ANIS
CHRISTMAS and New Year celebrations did not go well for many families in Northern’s Sohe district due to heavy flooding from continuous rain.
According to president of Higaturu local level government (LLG) Charles Jasari the flooding on most of wet crossings, which started before Christmas, cut of completely access to main roads and left many people stranded on one side or were unable to access the road into the provincial capital of Popondetta.
“On Christmas Eve I was forced to sleep in my office in town. We could not make the crossing to go to the village because the river was flooding. Other people were forced to stay on the other side with their Christmas shopping.
“They had wait for the water to subside before they could make the trip home to spend Christmas with their families,” Jasari said.
He said many people from his LLG could not access the Kokoda Highway to go into Popondetta because the three feeder crossings in the district which he referred to as Wara Emdehi, Isibeli and Auka were in bad condition from the floods.
“Life for the people in my LLG had not been the same since the heavy flooding during Cyclone Guba in 2007 took away the feeder bridge for the three rivers,” Jasari said.
He said that most times everyone were forced to sleep over with relatives in towns or in one area and wait for the rivers to subside before crossing.
“The government must now make it a priority this year to fix most of the bridges and especially feeder bridges in rural areas because that is where the bulk of the population is and they are the most affected at times like these,” he added.
“The government must also look at the needs of the people and make sure they are met through tangible development,” Jasari said.