We need our lives back

We are still here, don’t forget us is the cry of Baguale villagers, in the Kutubu LLG, Southern Highlands Province.

When the 7.5 magnitude earthquake hit, a total of 152 families were affected – that’s a total population of 2054.

All those displaced have been housed at the Baguale Primary school since.

Paul Ipakase, a local, says relief, especially food supplies were last donated on March 11.

Ipakase is in charge of supply distribution among each household. And he says this food supply is expected to run out by Friday, March 30.

He is calling on the LLG and provincial authorities to continue relief efforts into the area.

The biggest need, he says is water and medical supplies.

Ipakase said all rivers and streams remain polluted resulting in vomiting and diarrhoea among many, especially children and the elderly.

Similar sentiments were expressed by other lake side villagers in the Kutubu area.

Isaac Haboro from Inu village said they have been managing their small food rations very carefully, to last them until the next supply.

“We have heard about many donations from around the country and even internationally, but all that has not come directly to us,” he said.

He expressed concerns that some people may also use this disaster as an opportunity to make money from themselves.

He appealed if donors can either find a way to send the supplies directly to them, other than through second or third parties or send through trusted organisations like Advancing PNG Women Leaders network.

“We have not started our lives yet. We need our lives back,” he said. 

Many public servants fled after the earthquake. Only the bank service has resumed. Schools however remain closed.

Lakeside villages were lucky to have a missionary couple (expatriates) visit them with medical supplies in the last one week.

They left yesterday.

Gloria Bauai