25 Mar 2013

Heavy flooding destroys Bougainville food gardens

4:45 pm on 25 March 2013

Heavy flooding in the central region of the autonomous Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville has destroyed houses and food gardens.

The regional disaster co-ordinator for Bougainville, Franklin Lacey, says they have a team on the ground assessing the scale of the damage and expects a full report by Wednesday.

Mr Lacey says he knows of gardens and houses destroyed around Roroban, and this is having a devastating impact.

"Since the situation has happened there's been people going out to other areas to look for food. People at the moment are scavenging for food everywhere they can find it. There are people who are going out to relatives on the other side of the village to look for food. The situation is very bad at the moment."

Franklin Lacey says he hopes to have relief supplies in the region by next weekend with assistance from the United Nations and AUSaid, but he says it will take months to restore the gardens.