23 Jan 2013

Nearly 40,000 affected by flooding in PNG Highlands

7:57 pm on 23 January 2013

Devastating flooding in the Papua New Guinea provinces of Western Highlands and Jiwaka this month has ruined food crops and gardens, damaged homes and wiped out livestock.

The Waghi River rose and burst its banks after days of continuous rain.

A Post Courier journalist Johnny Poiya estimates the flood has affected close to 40-thousand people, and cost hundreds of thousands of kina in damage.

Mr Poiya says many locals are trying their best to cope, particularly with sourcing food, as they wait for the government to act.

"Two big crops, (like) cocoa or banana gone everything. Once the flood waters covers these food crops they get damaged now. I mean they are trying to go back to their normal life now. They are still waiting for government help."

Johnny Poiya says disaster provincial officials have assessed the damage, but are yet to act.

He says aid organisations are distributing some food and other emergency supplies in the interim.