26 Sep 2002

Western Highlands provinces remains unaffected in PNG drought

10:54 am on 26 September 2002

Government authorities in the Papua New Guinea province of Western Highlands are denying reports that it is facing a major drought disaster.

John Kilip, coordinator of the Western Highlands disaster operations, says the province is not faced with food or water shortages caused by a drought which he says is severely affecting Enga and the Eastern Highlands.

Media reports had said that Chimbu and Western Highlands Provinces were facing a major disaster as a drought was drying up gardens and forests and that fresh water supplies were at a critical low.

Mr Kilip says the Western Highlands has had four days of rain and more precipitation is expected next week.

He says crops are so far unaffected and that there has been no emergency reports from the district offices of food or water shortages.

"For this province, the Western Highlands, we've not received anything severe as yet. We've had some rain, there is enough at the market, we have vegetables, fruit, you now people seem to be okay. A lot of vegetables and things are being shipped to Lae, Moresby."