Flood victims in Daru in the Western Province of Papua New Guinea (PNG) are still desperate as they wait for food, water, clothing, and supplies.
According to an article on ABC Radio Australia, Papua New Guinea villages are starving as they wait for relief. On July 24th, ABC Radio Australia reported that “flooding around the Fly River estuary subsided about three weeks ago but authorities are still struggling to get aid to some of the most affected areas.”
“The National Disaster and Emergency Services PNG Director Martin Mose told Radio Australia the number of people affected could increase to 40,000 people once assessment teams have reached more remote areas” in an article on July 12th.
Councilor Kebei Salee Koeget, from the Sigabadru village in the South Fly district, gave an audio update to ABC Radio Australia. Although the floods rose six months ago, food gardens are still underwater. The water rose a meter and stayed a meter high for three months. In May, the water level dropped, but people are just slowly returning to find their gardens now. The floods destroyed not only the food gardens, but the most of the farm and free animals, which could be used for food. Wells have been contaminated by animal feces and flood waters, so people no longer have fresh water. Because of the increased water, once dry areas are swamps. Mosquitos are breeding at excess rates and people are more at risk than ever for disease.
Since May the flood victims survived on scarce bush land and sagos (a local food used to make bread from trees). In the area around Daru, however, the people are literally starving because they have no sago trees in the coastal regions.
There has been no government aid for Daru, according to ABC Radio Australia, but Director of Rural Health Services in the Western Province of PNG Alice Honjepari welcomed Youth With A Mission Medical Ships- Australia to carry 1,000 bags of rice and 1,000 bags of flour donated by PNG United Church to the area of and surrounding Daru.
After speaking with Director of Rural Health Services in the Western Province of PNG Alice Honjepari, YWAM MSA CEO Ken Mulligan said, “…we would be very open and able to transport supplies and give assistance into some very remote areas …”.
On Thursday, 13 September, the YWAM MSA ship leaves from Port Moresby to Daru bringing the rice and flour donation by PNG United Church to the people. The people have been so devastated by the floods that they also have no clothes to wear.
“We are grateful to transport the first relief desperate people will see since the floods began,” said Jennfier Rentsch, the Director’s Office Representative onboard. The team at YWAM Medical Ships- Australia hopes more people will give to bring the people of the Western Province to health and safety.