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Strong winds damage food crops on islands

A VISIT by the Morobe Disaster Office workers and officials over the weekend confirmed that some islands in Siassi are in need of relief assistance.

The islands of Malai, Aramot and Tuam after strong monsoon winds are facing shortages of water, food and other basic items.

Tami Island in Finschhafen district also faces similar problems.

The islands of Malai and Tuam, being the outer most lying islands, experienced strong winds and are now experiencing soil erosion as the sea level rises.

Tuam Island ward 13 councillor Robert Michael said that as the population increased, people could not go anywhere.

“During the winds that started over a month ago, all our gardens were destroyed. Breadfruit trees have been blown down, banana patches destroyed and with the prolonged dry season, our water source is running out,”

Michael said.

He said Tuam Island also experienced reef fish dying during dry periods.
“People started getting those fish to eat but we advised them not to as we do not know what caused these fish to die,” he said.

Tuam Island has more than 400 people with 150 households.
The Tuam Primary School is also affected.

The ward 12 councillor on Malai Island, Peter Kamaru, said his people were facing possible food and water shortages.

“As the population increased, land availability is scarce. With the dry season experienced now, people have no choice,” Kamaru said.

He said help from government authorities came only once in many years so they did not really see any assistance.

Kamaru said people needed clean water.

He said the strong winds sprayed saltwater over their garden crops such as tapioca, taro and vegetables.

Source: The National PNG



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