Caritas prepares response to PNG floods Caritas

Australia is working with local partners to gauge the extent of the damage following a week of heavy rain and flooding that has cost more than 70 lives in Papua New Guinea's Oro Province.

Caritas PNG, through the Archdiocese of Port Moresby, have delivered food, cooking utensils, water and shelter to over 100 families who fled their damaged homes and sought refuge in the district capital Popondetta.

Caritas Australia chief Jack de Groot said there is significant damage to infrastructure, including ports and roads.

"Many houses have been destroyed right across Oro Province and Popondetta is cut off from the districts due to swollen rivers and washed away bridges, making the assessment of the disaster difficult," Mr de Groot said.

"Much of Oro Province has very rudimentary roads which have further deteriorated from the rains.

"This will make distribution of food, water and shelter both difficult and expensive, particularly to remote areas," he said.

Mr de Groot said Caritas PNG has local people assessing the situation so the aid agency can devise an appropriate response.

"The human impact of the cyclone and storms is likely to increase with at least 50 people still unaccounted for," he said.

"With such an enormous amount of stagnant water there is real danger of the spread of water borne diseases such as cholera."

PNG floods (Caritas Australia 21/11/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Caritas Australia
Oro provice PNG (Wikipedia)

Caritas exposes continued pain for PNG disaster victims (CathNews, 25/10/05)
Caritas begins PNG relief program (CathNews, 08/06/05)
Caritas Australia collaborating with AusAID in PNG (CathNews, 24/11/04)

22 Nov 2007