NRI: Disaster offices need more funding

The Government must allocate more funds to support provincial disaster offices to respond to disasters more effectively.

This was highlighted in a research report produced by the PNG National Research Institute, titled ‘Adverse Impacts Of Climate Change in Papua New Guinea: Are we ready to adapt and manage disasters?’

The research paper was written by PNG NRI’s associate Professor Eugene Ezebilo and Maureen Thomas.

The aim of the research was to examine the preparedness of PNG to adapt to climate change and manage natural disasters using drought and frost incidence of 2015 as a case.

The research explored potential interventions required for agriculture sector in PNG to adapt to climate change, and identified potential interventions to promote effective management of natural disasters.

Professor Ezebilo told Loop PNG that PNG is a disaster prone environment so the Government should be ready to assist by allocating more funds to support provincial disaster offices.

He said PNG has witnessed various natural hazards that are associated with climate change, such as drought and frost.

“Our experience regarding drought and frost of 2015 in PNG revealed that the agriculture sector is not ready to adapt to climate change and the country is not prepared to manage disasters.

“There is a need to improve funding of provincial disaster offices, train more people on planning and management of disasters and encourage collaboration among disaster management agencies,” he said.

Professor Ezebilo added that in order to avoid delays in the provision of relief materials to affected areas, it is important for provincial offices to be fully funded.

He said fully funded provincial disaster offices can respond to crises and can distribute relief materials in a more time-efficient manner.

Quintina Naime