Kutubu disaster committee calls for united effort

The Kutubu Disaster Response Committee is calling for a united and concerted effort by its leaders and people to address the impact of the February 26th earthquake.

The committee said in a media conference that a combined effort was needed to assist locals affected by the disaster.

Committee chairman, Joel Masahimu, said 26 people lost their lives during the earthquake (17 victims) and through aftershocks (9 victims).

He said the earthquake has displaced people, with large numbers gathering in care centres and while the sick and injured are being attended to, there are fears of social implications this could have on them.

The committee is in Port Moresby to rally support for locals back home.

“Mipla kam daun lo hia basically to rally support, singautim ol lidas blo mipla lo wok bung wantaim, regardless of differences, ol man, meri kisim bagarap,” Masahimu said. (We call on our leaders to work together regardless of differences; our people’s lives have been damaged.)

“Yumi nid lo sidaun na kamap wantaim sampla kain wei weh yumi ken helpim ol manmeri lo ples. Bagarap ol i kisim pinis. At least yumi halivim ol lo ribildim laif bilong ol.”

Masahimu said those displaced are living on other people’s lands, which would give rise to issues.

He further revealed that there is competition over relief supplies because the entire Kutubu LLG has been affected.

He said though they prioritise care centres, he fears surrounding communities looking after those displaced will grow to resent the treatment. 

(Committee chairman, Joel Masahimu)

Cedric Patjole