3 Nov 2010

Bougainville women's NGO loses 20 years of work in fire

5:27 pm on 3 November 2010

A fire has destroyed 20 years of work by a Bougainville NGO dedicated to improving the lives of women and children in the Papua New Guinea province.

The head of Leitana Nehan Women's Development Agency says she and her staff were alerted to the fire early yesterday morning but could only watch helplessly as their office burnt to the ground.

Helen Hakena says funding from AUSAid and NZAid enabled the office to be built and stocked with equipment and it'll be very difficult to start again from scratch.

"Particularly losing all the documents, all our annual reports, all our policies, all our audited reports, everything, it is gone but what we are saying is that we are still strong, we have got our hands, our feet, we've got our hearts, we still are dedicated and committed to continuing the work that we have lost, everything is not lost, we are thankful that we are all safe."

Helen Hakena says people who initially were thought to be trying to save computers from the fire made off with them.