​PNG prepares for potential El Nino occurrence

Papua New Guinea is preparing for a potential El Nino event in August 2017.

A two-day workshop is underway in Port Moresby following several global and regional climate agencies’ predictions of a potential occurrence of El Nino in the second half of 2017.

The El Nino could bring drier than normal conditions to PNG.

The 2015 and 2016 El Nino caused widespread drought and frost in PNG, which affected an estimated 2.4 million people, with 480,000 people impacted by severe food shortage.

The workshop aims to provide a critical platform for the Government, humanitarian and development agencies to prepare for this potential El Nino event.

UN resident coordinator and the PNG Disaster Management Team, Roy Trivedy, said PNG is taking the lead in the Asia Pacific region to drive the concept of early action, which integrates development and humanitarian approaches to mitigate and prepare for disasters.

"It is vital that a timely and well-coordinated early action approach involving key stakeholders is adopted.

"I congratulate all stakeholders, especially the Government, for coming together to drive this process forward," Trivedy said.

The workshop is being attended by key disaster risk management and Government stakeholders, including UN agencies, non-government organisations, churches, the private sector, donors, National Weather Service and provincial and regional administrations.

(Crops destroyed by frost in the highlands – Picture: CARE International)

Quintina Naime