Gardens, land lost

Nuguria Islands in the Atolls District of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville have lost their food gardens and land following a massive king tide early this year.

The Islanders are facing serious food shortage and are in dire need of assistance.

The plight of Nuguria Islanders is similar to the volcano and earthquake affected provinces.

However, their cries and needs have gone unheard.

The Islanders sadly do not have the backing of the Government of PNG and Autonomous Bougainville Government.

Yesterday (May 6), the Nuguria community based in Port Moresby hosted a fundraiser for the plight of more than 600 affected Nuguria Islanders.

“Early this year and late last year, the island was flooded with king tides as a result of global warming and has destroyed the food gardens,” said Jerry Atahi, advisor of Nuguria Association.

The king tides have affected the soil, posing greater challenges and threat in the long run.

“For the soil to be cured, it will take approximately 20 years then another 6 to 10 years to plant our staple food, taro. You’re looking at 20-30 years before food can grow again properly on the Island,” Atahi explained.

Sunday’s event was to raise urgent funds for food, water and medical supplies.

“I want to make an appeal to the National Government if they can assist in any form and to the public and business communities to help in cash and kind,” appealed Luai Himata, President of Nuguria Association.

While the Nuguria Association of Port Moresby resort to fundraisers and other means to help their families back home, long term plans have been considered.

Relocation is high on their agenda, but to where they will resettle is the question.

(The fundraiser yesterday)

Carolyn Ure