Refugees call for more assistance

Momase, Normal

The National, Thursday October 31st, 2013

 MORE than 500 men, women and children living in cramped conditions at refugee camps in Bulolo are calling on MP Sam Basil and Governor Kelly Naru to help them.

About 546 people from Bubu-Garainaare living in crowded and unhygienic conditions, with only12 tents available at the camp.

They were forced to set up the camp after they were attacked by the Watut people six weeks ago.

They claimed there had never been any support from the Morobe provincial government and the national government. The only assistance came from the Papua New Guinea Red Cross Society.

No comments could be obtained from Basil and Naru.

Speaking on behalf of the displaced people, Francis Laiam said the conditions and treatment they faced were far worse than the Sepik settlers in Bulolo. The Sepiks are still living in two care centres in Bulolo after an earlier ethnic clash.

“We are sharing plates and pots. Four to five persons share a plate. Some are forced to wait to use the pot. By the time they cook, it’s around midnight,” he said.

“There is no clean water, no food and we do not have money. We are forced to risk visiting our gardens and gather whatever we can find to bring back to eat.

“We are suffering and the situation is very bad.”

Laiam said Basil and Naru must help them and respond quickly to the petition by the Watut people.

“The longer the delay in receiving and responding to their petition, the more we suffer. They must help us whether by going back to the village or staying in Bulolo,” he said.