(Updated) Papua New Guinea – Floods Hit Morobe Province

Update 06 April 2020:

Local media in Papua New Guinea reported on 06 April that nearly 500 homes were damaged or destroyed by flooding from the Zokozoi River in the Nupaha area of North Goroka, Eastern Highlands Province. Floods occurred after continued rainfall around the same time as the Morobe Province floods reported below. Media also reported that flood and landslide damage has interrupted drinking water supply in the area.

Original report, 02 April, 2020:

Around 1,000 people have been affected by flooding in areas of Lae in Morobe Province in Papua New Guinea, according to local media reports.

Flooding struck on 01 April after days of heavy rain. Local observers said the rain caused the Busu river to breaks its banks. According to The National, “the flood water levels reached up to 3m in some areas, damaging food gardens, affecting drinking water storage drums and almost reaching into homes.” It is feared affected residents may have to evacuate during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.

Recent Floods and Landslides

Flooding recently hit areas of Chimbu Province, where around 700 people were displaced. Days earlier, a massive landslide struck in Tambul-Nebilyer district, in neighbouring Western Highlands Province, where at least 10 people died.

Building Resilience to Climate Change Project

The Government of Papua New Guinea (PNG) recently signed an agreement with the United Nations Development Programme to bolster PNG’s efforts to address the impacts of climate change.

Delivered under the Asian Development Bank funded Building Resilience to Climate Change Project, this work will help communities in remote atols and coastal areas improve food security, better prepare for climate-driven natural disasters and reduce their vulnerabilities.

Dirk Wagener, UNDP Resident Representative in Papua New Guinea said, “this partnership is an important achievement between the Climate Change and Development Authority and UNDP to further address challenges faced by climate change in the most vulnerable communities.”

“UNDP is committed to work with local communities and stake holders in providing sustainable solutions to support communities to be resilient and adoptable to the impacts of climate change,” Mr. Wagener added.

Knowledge sharing will also underline the afore-mentioned interventions in order to strengthen Papua New Guinea’s efforts in tackling climate change.

In Papua New Guinea, rural communities face the most impacts of climate change through king tides, rising sea levels, natural disasters such as floods, and changing and increasingly unpredictable weather patterns. These causes and consequences of climate change stretch far beyond individuals and governments.

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