El Nino

Talasea people living on unripe fruits

Concerned leader in the area Freddie Kumai told Loop PNG today that the people are now walking long distances looking for water and food as a result of the current El Nino vlimate effect hitting the area.

He said Talasea LLG should be declared a drought affected zone.

“The 10 ward council with an estimated 18,000 plus population are devastated by the prolonged  drought.

Drought parched New Irelanders wait for help

Those people affected by the drought in the New Ireland Province have not yet received any response to their requests for water containers.

Disaster Coordinator Michael Lamusang says he sent the province's first assessment report and a submission for relief supplies on August 18th however to date no response had been made. 

He says people have been suffering from a shortage of water and people walk as far as two kilometres to find water.

Lamusang has just sent the second assessment report to the National Disaster Office.

Latest on drought situation in Bougainville

According to the Bougainville disaster office director Franklyn Lacey the much predicted El Nino will be far worse than that of 1997   because it will be hotter at about 2 degrees Celsius above average.

 “My warning to the people now is to start taking preventive measures and take stock of the situation. Start using whatever water is left wisely. Due to the drought now, food has become very scarce and there is no vegetable at all now in the markets,’’ he said.

Eastern Highlanders suffering from El Nino: growers leader

Solepa Thomas Arganisafa, the secretary of the Eastern Highlands Agricultural Society, said food gardens are wilting under the scorching sun and the water sources drying up.

“Livelihoods of the many villagers in the Asaro Valley and other parts of the Eastern Highlands are at stake.”

Arganifa challenged the provincial and national disaster committees to assess the situation and  help the simple villagers.

Village school on track for national exams

The village is facing a shortage of water supply following the dry weather which has emptied water tanks and wells are drying up.

Despite that, the students are working hard to pass their exams.

School head master John Wasigui said teachers were working with the 29 grade eight students doing   remedial exercises for an one hour after school.

“After three mock exams, we have highlighted some weakness areas in various topics which the teachers are emphasising during remedial classes. 

Manusians facing dire drought scenario

He is assessing his cocoa and coconut plantation which has been destroyed by a bush fire.

Mr Lapeap expressed concern that the Manus Government was, in his opinion,  underestimating the situation on the islands with the long drought and the lack of fresh water.

"Death has arrived at our door step. Food and water is seriously scarce now. We are not about to face it. We are already facing death,’’ he said.

Boera village hit hard by dry weather

Most of their water wells are starting to dry up and food gardens are not producing enough.

The change in weather pattern is also having an impact on their fishing livelihood with the strong winds preventing them from going out to sea.

Village elder Hosea Daure told Loop PNG that the villagers hadn’t started off preparing the new ground for planting because the soil was very hard.

Daure said the seedlings were also drying out, making it difficult for them to be replaced.

University students raise funds for El Nino victims

The students aim to raise as much as they can towards El Nino relief for the worst affected areas in the Highlands region.

They will host a major fundraiser dance event at the Cosmopolitan on October 16 with tickets selling at K35 pre-sold and all funds raised will go towards this worthy cause.

Student representative and Miss UPNG 2015 Mary Konobo says they aim to raise enough funds to cater for essentials such as food and water for the worst affected areas.

Cyclone shift

Kumar says there is a possibility that the country should expect to have Fiji cyclone season earlier instead of November, the usual month.

He said the official Tropical Cyclone season was from November to April, but records showed cyclones occurred outside the official tropical cyclone season.

“The current El Nino has a potential to change the distribution and frequency of tropical cyclones in the region. Please note that apart from August and September, tropical cyclones have occurred in all other months in the South Pacific,” Kumar said.

Helicopter pilot dies fighting New Caledonia fire

Last night a rescue operation was underway to recover the victim who was helping to douse the flames of a fire at Voh in the north of the territory.

Homes were evacuated and the main highway was cut on Sunday when fire engulfed bush in the area.

About 200 hectares of vegetation was burnt and about 20 homes threatened.

Three helicopters were brought in to help fight the fire which also involved security personnel who led convoys of motorists to safety.