NATIONAL Planning and Monitoring Minister Paul Tiensten said the government is working closely with the National Agriculture and Research Institute (NARI) in preparing for next year’s predicted drought, The National reports.
Scientists warned of the drought during the launch of the National Agriculture Research Institute (NARI) drought preparedness plan in Lae earlier this year.
They predicted that a severe drought would hit PNG in 2011 and 2012 and PNG was ill-prepared for it.
However, Tiensten said the government had taken the warnings seriously and was working on a plan with NARI to prepare for the drought.
“Reports on the plan was nearing completion and would be made available once they are released,” Tiensten said.
He was responding to questions raised in Parliament last week by Morobe Governor Luther Wenge, who had asked what actions under the plan the government would take in addressing the shortage of food and water likely to be faced by the people as a result of the drought.
With the rising sea level and temperatures at our doorstep, due to global warming, scientists have warned that this drought will be more severe than the last one and it is not known how long it will last.
The last drought experienced in PNG was in 1997.
NARI said yesterday that drought preparation was a major priority and that specific considerations had been given to addressing food security and other basic needs including water in areas where this was lacking.
A NARI spokesperson said they were also looking at more appropriate system for managing emergency food distribution including food distributing centres.