PNG earthquake: Women groups mobilise support

Women groups from Hela, Kutubu and parts of Southern Highlands are mobilising to reach out to the earthquake-stricken villages in Southern Highlands, Western and Hela provinces.

Water, shelter and food are urgently needed in these impacted villages.

The Advancing PNG Women’s Network, CDI Foundation and Hela Meri Never Give-Up are running a 2-week earthquake relief appeal in Port Moresby.

“We are appealing specifically to the public.

Yumi harim long reidio, lukim long TV na yumi filim sori na yumi laik givim na halivim na givim sampla samting, there’s place, a platform where we can donate,” stated Cathy Alex from Advancing PNG Women’s Network.

According to reports they are receiving on ground, the situation is worsening by the day.

These women groups are urging the government to disburse the K450 million immediately and provide relief supplies before the situation escalates and death toll rises due to starvation and dehydration.

“People are crying and they are shouting when they are calling us. We can’t just sit and wait for the K450 million to translate,” Alex said in a trembling voice, all the while fighting back tears.

“So mipla askim public to join us, give what we can right now…people are crying, we can’t wait for the K450 million.”

These women are desperately appealing to the government and authorities to respond to the cries of the victims immediately and make information available for them because at the moment, fear, trauma and anxiety has taken over.

“We need information to get to them. How can they manage fear during this time?

“They are calling us and asking what’s rumbling under the earth?

Graun guria na samting pairap long graun kam, em wanem? They are hearing this every day,” Alex further stated.

All donations can be dropped off at the Advancing PNG Women’s Network office at Apex Boroko.

(Hagen base MAF staff helping to transfer Nagei Waruka, who had been covered by a landslide, to a waiting ambulance  – Picture by MAF)

Carolyn Ure