24 Aug 2005

Bougainville flooding remains as rains continue

3:43 pm on 24 August 2005

More than three-thousand people are in need of food and water in the south of the Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville, as flood waters saturated crop lands.

Torrential rain flooded Siwai two weeks ago, washing away crops and animals.

The main highway between Buin and Bolu is blocked and crops are underwater because of rising river levels.

The Post Courier newspaper reports that a man is still missing.

The Red Cross's Ervin Bulathsinghala says the main concern is for people in villages who rely on their gardens for food.

"And this flood and high water level has affected their cultivation and has been covered with water. Their food gardens have been completely affected. We were informed the autonomous Bougainville government has dispatched 1,800 bags of rice to the affected people."

Ervin Bulathsinghala says delivery of water supplies and shelter is the next priority.