North Bougainville faces food shortage

Certain areas in North Bougainville are now facing severe food shortage after heavy rainfall in the last months washed away all food gardens.

Reports coming in to the disaster office in Buka have stated that the northern tip in the Haku Constituency, the Atolls and now the latest is Tinputz, have been affected.

The mountain communities in the Tinputz district are the worst hit, especially in Melelup and Pokapa.

Village assembly chairman for Pokapa Paul Panu told Loop PNG their school has now closed down and students have been sent home.

“Our gardens have been flooded and the soil contains too much water that root crops like kaukau and taro cannot grip the soil to get nutrients in order to grow,” Panu said.

“Our village up here is very rich in food in the whole of Tinputz, we’re reputable for flooding markets with our fresh produce and right now the weather doesn’t permit us to do so. We’re now becoming poor because we do not have any more food.”

Panu also said it’s not only happening in their area but everywhere in North Bougainville, especially in Buka and the atolls.

“I have already approached the disaster office here in Buka but the availability of funds is now another hurdle to deal with,” Panu said.

Disaster coordinator on Bougainville Franklin Lacey confirmed the reports and said this will be addressed as soon as funds are available.


(The Tinputz disaster team will move in to help the affected areas once funds are available.)

Peterson Tseraha