Saturday, August 15, 2015

Frost is worst in district, LLG president says

Source: The National,Friday August 14th, 2015
THE people of Mendi-Munihu district in Southern Highlands have been severely affected by frost following the long dry weather.
In an emergency meeting yesterday at Mendi town, four Local Level Government presidents led by Upper Mendi LLG president Solomon Timbol, submitted reports of the disaster saying it was the worst in the district.
Lai Valley LLG president Jack Soal, Karintz LLG’s Simon Tolpe, Mendi Urban’s Vincent Manda and Timbol are appealing to the National Disaster and Emergency Centre to help the people.
Vegetables, kaukau tubers, sugar cane, bananas and pandanas have withered. Creeks and rivers have dried up and people are also facing a water shortage.
Timbol said people were calling them from everywhere seeking assistance. “But we (LLG presidents) cannot do anything because we not have funds. It is up to the national, provincial and district disaster and emergency centres to help,” he said.
“It is a real disaster and hundreds of people would soon starve.”
Timbol said it was important that a team from the National Disaster and Emergency Centre visit the area to assess the situation.
Farmer Joe Pila from the Ialibu-Pangia district lost his entire food garden after frost hit the area on Monday night.
He lost 23 hectares of taro and sweet potato plots. He said earnings from his farm had helped him set up a small business including a trade store, kai bar and hire vehicles.
“I have 10 fulltime labourers and I pay them fortnightly,” he said.
“I have a piggery farm, poultry and breed fish apart from the garden crops.”

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