Locals say frost worse than 1997

The extreme cold weather has put the Tambul people of Western Highlands Province in danger of starvation.

The 'ice crystals' that flattened their food gardens and the surroundings this week is being described as severe.

Community leader and Tekep clansman of Maltaka, in the Upper Kaguel, John Kombani Boi said they will suffer the consequences and need the attention of government authorities.

He said this El Nino is far worse than 1997 as it completely sweep anything that is green.

"This is far worse. This is really a catastrophe.  We have never witnessed such frosts in the past and I am really sad to see our people suffer," Boi said.

The former councillor of Tekep in the Mt Giluwe LLG said previously,  some food crops were spared by the frost and they were lucky.

But this one is different. It was horrible.

"Nothing was left, it was a clean sweep,"  a worried Boi said.

He said the Tambul people rely on potato as their only source of income for their livelihood, supplemented by brocoli, cauliflower, tomato and onions while kaukau remains their stable food.

"But the extreme weather has completely demolished our only hope and means of survival. This is a complete blow to our source of income," he said.

He said government representatives visited their area this week and hope help is on the way.

Bustin Anzu