More Devastation in PNG's Oro Province ... Help Needed

Just four years after enduring deadly Cyclone Guba, which killed 300 people and devastated the region, Papua New Guinea’s Oro Province has again been hit by severe flooding and leaving at least 11,000 desperately needing urgent help with food and medicine.

The 2011 wet season, which began in November, brought sustained torrential rain, flooding rivers and inundating food gardens in hundreds of coastal and low-lying villages. The Kokoda Track Foundation, which has been working in the region since 2003, has responded with an emergency distribution of 5000 kilograms of rise to 55 villages in the region. But more is urgently needed to help the descendants of the WWII Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels - our nearest neighbours.

By supporting our ‘Oro Emergency Appeal’ you will assist the KTF in both our initial emergency food distribution process as well as giving ongoing support for the flood-affected communities as we help them to re-build their gardens. The KTF will continue to support the region via its existing Northern Province Food Restoration Project after the initial rice distribution, giving villages access to improved strains of crops, including taro, cassava and sweet potato, that are able to grow in water-logged soil and will help villages to quickly restart their food gardens.

The KTF’s representative in Oro Province, Mr Elijah Sarigari said yesterday: “I have been to parts of Oro Bay LLG specially along the Bareji and Pongani rivers and found that many food gardens are still under water due to continuous raining for almost two months now… as a result all the food crops are rotting”.

In 2007, the Province was hit by Cyclone Guba, which killed hundreds and left more than 100,000 without access to food and clean water. Then in 2009, severe flooding hit the province again, just as villagers were getting their lives back together.

All donations over $2 to the Kokoda Track Foundation are tax deductible in Australia. Please go to our website to donate.