Drought conditions ease in PNG's Enga

8:12 pm on 8 September 2015

The provincial administrator in Enga Province in Papua New Guinea says there are signs the severe drought affecting the region is beginning to subside.

Dr Samson Amean says over the past few months, tens of thousands of people have been affected by severe droughts and frosts, but the situation has started to improve with recent rainfall.

"The dry weather has improved actually, with our receiving rainfall for the last two weeks. And so we have water. But the areas that have been strictly affected by the frosts, basically all the food gardens are gone."

Papua New Guinea's busy Highlands Highway.

Transport issues have hampered delivery of food and water relief to drought-impacted communities in the Highlands Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

Dr Samson Amean says the priority is now to ensure the worst affected areas receive the consignment of food aid sent by the national government, which is being mobilised over the next few days.

He says transport issues have meant the aid could not be delivered sooner.

Dr Amean says he has not had any reports of death related to the frosts or drought.

However accounts of the drought impact in nearby Chimbu province paint a different picture, with reports of dozens of deaths.

Like Enga, Chimbu's response to the drought, especially efforts to get food and water where it is lacking most, has been hampered by big logistical challenges.

Chimbu also experienced some welcome rain in the past week.