Latest on drought situation in Bougainville

The Disaster office on Bougainville provided an update of the situation on Bougainville to Loop PNG yesterday.

According to the Bougainville disaster office director Franklyn Lacey the much predicted El Nino will be far worse than that of 1997   because it will be hotter at about 2 degrees Celsius above average.

 “My warning to the people now is to start taking preventive measures and take stock of the situation. Start using whatever water is left wisely. Due to the drought now, food has become very scarce and there is no vegetable at all now in the markets,’’ he said.

“We have done an assessment here on Bougainville with the team from the National Disaster office and the report has already been tabled and it is before the National Government. Now they will act on it as soon as possible by providing some funding,’’ he said.

“Our disaster runs into the atolls of Bougainville will need a ship that can cater for a large quantity of cargoes. The MV Rapois isn’t that kind of ship, that’s why we need to make double runs.

“We have already done Tasman and now the ship is returning from Mortlock Island. Then we go to Fead island and then to the  Carterets. The Carterets Island is the worst hit with the drought,’’  Mr Lacey said.

“In the atolls, there are food rations and medical runs and I would like to thank the medical team for containing the situation of the measles outbreak in Tasman Island. Generally with the drought Buka and north Bougainville are worst hit.”

Meanwhile Mr.Lacey also confirmed that the 4 Bougainvilleans stranded in the Mariana islands will now be ready for repatriation From the Marianas which has a flight once a week only on Sundays, the four will fly to Nauru and then to Nadi in Fiji, stay overnight and then fly to Port Moresby. They will be home by next week.

“The repatriation was delayed due to no flights entering the Marianas except on Sundays but Air Niugini is beginning to fly in there and we’re hoping the four could be on the maiden flight,’’ Mr Lacey said.

“The member for Selau in the ABG, Joe Watawi, is in Moresby awaiting their return.”