Rising water levels put Sepik River communities at risk

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RISING river levels pose a threat for low-lying communities such as Kambaramba village in the Angoram district of East Sepik, according to Governor Allan Bird.
He took a trip over the Easter weekend with Wewak-based Samaritan Aviation to see firsthand the impact of the swelling Sepik River, causing floods.
“While the Sepik River floods annually when all the tributaries swell, in some years it goes much higher. That’s when our people face serious struggles,” Bird said.
“Some of our river communities are poor and very isolated. They have no access to clean drinking water. The river is their lifeline but it can also make life difficult for them. But the wet season is just beginning so we hope the water levels will not get any higher although we are prepared for the worst.
“Some houses in several river communities are under water, up to the rafters. Our reaction is to release funds budgeted for Angoram from internal revenue so that Angoram can get emergency relief.
“Many roofs are leaking and our people are exposed to too much water. That can lead to diseases.”
Bird assured the communities of provincial government’s help.

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