Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Landslip leaves 200 homeless



MORE than 200 families from three major clans in Yongomugl, Chimbu, have been displaced by a major landslip, The National reports.

The Gena, Kindiku and Sunagaumo clans have lost homes, coffee trees, garden produce and animals in the landslip at the Porol Mountain.

The landslip started three weeks ago about a kilometre away from the major Gera landslip that occurred in 2008 and cut the Highlands Highway off, stopping the flow of basic services into the hinterlands of the highlands region for a month.

The National visited the displaced families last weekend and saw them covered in mud as a sign of mourning for their land, homes, gardens, ceremonial grounds, cemeteries, coffee trees and livestock.

The people are living in makeshift shelters.

A local, Naire Kawagle, who was one of the first to see the landslip, said it started on June 26 and, since then, the land had been slipping continuously.

He said it had destroyed property and homes worth thousands of kina.

Ward councillor Kuike Kowane, who spoke on behalf of the affected clans, said more than 200 families were now living in makeshift shelters.

He said there had been no response from the Chimbu provincial government and politicians after they were alerted.

“Our children cannot go to school and we are missing out on this coffee season.

“Our gardens are destroyed and we are without food and are severely affected,” Kowane said.

Speaking on behalf of the women, Esther Andy said all their food gardens had been destroyed and they did not know who to turn to for help.

 “When the landslips were occurring, we ran off with our children and left our gardens, houses and properties to be destroyed,” she said.

Spokesman John Aina called on the National Disaster Centre, Chimbu provincial government and local MP Jeffery Nape to step in and help.

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