Tumun River in Jiwaka devastates land and property

The flooding Tuman River in the Anglimp District of Jiwaka Province continues to create more destruction as the heavy weather continues.

A major road servicing more than  10,000 people in the upstream in the Kindeng area is under threat while hectares of food gardens, coffee plots and valuable traditional land have been washed away by the flooding river in the Reraka-Keripi area.

The same river cut off the main Kindeng-Dei highway and destroying villages, gardens and land while it cut a new route downstream several years ago. The road is still cut off. Attempts to have it fix redirect the river has failed.

Keripi villager and church elder Peter Aura has lost all his five hectare coffee plots and food gardens in the new floods which still continues with threats of more destruction to the traditional land of two entire tribes.

“When the flood started in January this year, it washed away all my properties. All my land is gone. I now appeal to the government to either help provide relief supplies or resettle us somewhere safer. Over 220 families are in danger,” Aura said.

He said it would be of great relief if the river was rerouted to its original course away from his land and the main Kindeng-Rogumb road.

Several schools including the new Muk high school, churches and a large population are under  threat of being cut off by the unpredictable river.

Villages on the opposite bank have also lost land as well as cemeteries, homes and gardens. Many dug up the remains of dead relatives and moved them to higher ground as the river overtook their resting places.

Those land overrun by the river will take  more than 40 years to become good garden soil again.

Aura called on the Disaster office to  visit the area and assess the damage and threat they were facing and recommend assistance.

Johnny Poiya