27 Apr 2006

Flood hit Carteret islanders in Bougainville may now move to the mainland

3:21 pm on 27 April 2006

An MP says the situation of food shortages on one of the Bougainville atolls in Papua New Guinea has gone from bad to worse.

Taehu Pais says Carteret Islanders are in dire need of food with their gardens washed away in recent floods.

Mr Pais says the people are living on dry coconut meat and fish because the relief food supplies from Bougainville had run out.

The more than 1000 bales of rice supplied by the administration lasted only two weeks.

The Post Courier reports the atolls of Carterets, Nuguria, Tasman and Mortlock recently experienced huge waves that destroyed the food gardens.

The floods destroyed everything in their path and had travelled more than 300 metres inland in some areas of Nuguria and Carterets.

Mr Pais the islanders have expressed a desire to relocate to mainland Bougainville.

Land in Manetai on Central Bougainville has been made available for the relocation but until now the islanders have ignored the government's plea for them to vacate their atolls.