23 Nov 2011

Poor weather adds to Papua food shortage woes

6:41 am on 23 November 2011

A legislator in Indonesia's Papua region says thousands of people in 19 villages across the province have been suffering from a lack of food for the past four months.

The Jakarta Globe reports a member of the Papua Legislative Council, Thomas Sondegou, as saying the situation has forced locals to find root crops from the forest to survive.

He says bad weather, including heavy rains and strong winds, had destroyed gardens.

Mr Sondegou says there had been no reports of deaths but he did not rule out the possibility given that communication with the area was difficult.

He says the district government did not appear to be providing any help to alleviate the suffering.