People likely to go hungry due to floods

National, Normal

The National,Thursday19 January 2012

AS heavy rain continues in Jiwaka and Western Highlands, more people may be forced to go hungry after their foods crops are damaged by floodwaters.
In Kaupena, a multi-cultural community of more than 3,000 people on the North and South Waghi border in Kondopina, Jiwaka, who settled there under a government land settlement scheme, face a similar threat.
The Kora and Kenspi rivers have burst their banks and the rising floodwaters and debris have already damaged properties and food.
The floods had continued since the beginning of the month. Residents say they have yet to step on dry land three weeks into the new year.
The two rivers continue to burst their banks. The nearby Waghi River has also burst its banks. The floodwaters are affecting villages located about 50m away from the river banks.
Spokesperson Yapa Dalap said the villagers had been suffering for too long and all they wanted was a solution to the problem.
He said they had no intention of asking for relief supplies or assistance as all they wanted was for the National Disaster Office and Office of Climate Change to look into the matter.
He said they were now calling on the national offices because the provincial disaster office had ignored them.
He said all they got from the provincial disaster officer were forms to fill but the officers never travelled to the affected areas to conduct assessments.
Dalap said the flooding rivers continued to affect the villages because the river bed was too shallow. He called on the national departments to widen the western end of the river bed, and divert the river to its original route.
He said the villagers were suffering because their crops were dying and the soil was unsuitable for growing crops.