Due to lack of funding, only serious cases in drought-affected districts of Morobe Province can be assisted, says PNG’s Disaster coordinator
The Morobe Disaster office in Papua New Guinea says due to lack of funding, it will only assist people in drought-affected districts when cases become serious, Disaster coordinator Charlie Masange says.
Masange said this in light of a prolonged dry spell in the province and call by communities for assistance from the provincial government.
Masange said the disaster team would be monitoring drought indicators like a rise of diseases and severe food and water shortage.
“The team will only step in to assist when there are drought related issues like social issues, health issues, education issues and food shortages.”
“Morobe is a big province and about three to four districts are affected, so we can only help people who are really suffering,” he said.
Masange’s response was based on the funding allocated to the provincial disaster team during the earthquake where the province received K400,000 (US$113,000) from a K10 million (US$2.8 million) earthquake relief fund.
“The money given was not enough,” he said.
“In disasters, logistics take up a lot of the cost, especially for the remote areas where the materials will be transported through different modes.”
Masange explained that the K10 million released by the national government was specifically for the recent earthquake which affected most parts of the province.
“The funds were specifically for the recent earthquake, but then drought occurred and people are now coming to us for help also.”
“We will try to manage the allocated funds given to help the people who are affected by both the earthquake and drought,” he said.
“This is a very challenging and tough decision to make.”
Masange clarified that his team was dealing with districts close to Lae and would assist other districts as well.
This story was written by Jacinta Cohlee, originally published at The National on 26 October 2022, reposted via PACNEWS.