12 Oct 2010

PNG's Morobe Province makes plans to cope with expected drought

8:30 pm on 12 October 2010

The Provincial Administration in Papua New Guinea's Morobe Province is striving to save about 3.8 million US dollars to invest in preparations for a drought predicted to hit in 2012.

Scientists have warned the drought could last for up to 18 months, posing major health risks and causing food shortages around the country.

The Governor, Luther Wenge, says in order to save the money, major infrastructure projects are being suspended, including building new classrooms, medical centres and fixing potholes.

He says the priority is the maintenance of roads that lead to the villages to ensure access for the delivery of emergency supplies, fixing the airstrip and ensuring medical centres are well equipped.

"The important thing is we must attend to the lives of the people in the rural areas that are not reached by road. Or airstrips there but not properly maintained, or big roads linking the district. Those roads or bridges have to be attended to."

Luther Wenge says he does not believe the suspension of major infrastructure projects will have any major adverse effects.