18 Feb 2009

Flooding in PNG Highlands leaves hundred homeless

4:35 pm on 18 February 2009

More than 700 people in the Dei area of Western Highlands province in Papua New Guinea are homeless after the Waghi River burst its banks earlier this week.

The flooding was caused by heavy rain in the area, but questions are also being asked about the impact of road works being undertaken in the area.

It is estimated that about 25 hectares of land is under water, including food gardens and cash crops.

Some livestock has also been washed away.

A community leader Gabriel Nolai has told the National newspaper that two construction companies and the Works Department should accept some blame for the flooding, because they failed to provide a culvert to drain out excess water.

Mr Nolai says with the food gardens gone, people could face starvation and be exposed to waterborne diseases.

He has appealed for outside help.