5 Sep 2002

PNG disaster director says care centres not coping

11:21 am on 5 September 2002

The Director of Papua New Guinea's National Disaster Management Office says the people displaced by eruptions from the Mt Pago volcano need to be resettled quickly because their health could be in danger in the care centres.

Henry Mokono says the temporary care centres that are housing more than 12 thousand villagers are hopelessly overcrowded.

Officials say toxic ash from the volcano has made parts of New Britain island uninhabitable and up to 4,000 people will have to find new homes.

Mr Mokono says the provincial government's highest priority should be finding people new homes as the care centers are only just coping.

"We expect at least one toilet to twenty people but currently the figure is more. Water is a major problem, we got water problems in most of the care centres. So with those factors in the care centres there are possibilities of health risks and when there is a break out I believe we will have a major problem."

Henry Mokono.