Settlers in Jiwaka suffer second hit by floods

National, Normal

The National, Monday 09th January 2012

SCORES of settlers at Kondopina, Jiwaka province, have been hit for the second time by flooding after the Waghi and Gumanch rivers burst their banks.
The settlers from the highlands region received a double blow when their property, which survived the first flood a week ago, were completely destroyed.
After continuous heavy rainfall experienced in the province, the Waghi and Gumanch rivers burst their banks and flood waters entered homes at around 1am last Sunday.
The flood waters washed away livestock, including seven pigs worth between K700 and K1,300, beddings, and destroyed food gardens, houses and properties.
The cost of damage is estimated to be more than K1 million.
Settlers’ spokesman Gabriel Noglai said the villagers were asleep when the rising waters entered their homes.
Noglai said the settlers fled to higher ground, leaving everything behind.
He said this was the second time in a week people had been affected by floods.
Noglai said families were now looking for their properties washed away by the flood.
He said many of their personal effects were buried in sediment and debris including food gardens.
He called on the leaders to build stone walls along the river banks but that had been ignored.
He said no elected leaders seemed to care about them.
Noglai said the settlers did not know where to turn to for help.
He said the 700 people would definitely go hungry now and called on provincial and national disaster and emergency offices to intervene by assessing the damage and helping them with relief supplies until they could plant new gardens.