15 Apr 2020

Chimbu provincial government to help landslide-hit villagers

6:50 am on 15 April 2020

The Chimbu provincial government in Papua New Guinea says it will do what it can to help villagers displaced by a deadly landslide.

Ten people, including a child, were buried in a landslide in Kegesuglo village at the base of PNG's highest mountain, Mt Wilhelm, on Good Friday.

Chimbu's Governor, Michael Dua, said all the ten bodies have now been recovered.

He said the villagers are in great shock.

"They need assistance. Food assistance, some building materials too."

"Most of the houses have been destroyed, and currently some of them (people) are displaced, and we need to... as the provincial government, we will, at least in a small way, we'll be helping them."

Michael Dua said that among the dead was a teacher from the local high school and his two children.

Meanwhile, Chimbu like other provincial governments in Papua New Guinea continues to urge people to stay at home as much as possible to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

PNG has only registered two confirmed cases of covid-19 to date, but its testing capacity is limited.

Governor Dua said his move to restrict access to his Highlands province at its border was justified given the devastation the virus could cause in the region.

While the national government has eased a ban on travel between provinces, Mr Dua said his authorities were still maintaining checks on movement in and out of Chimbu.

"We are doing our best to stop people from moving around," he said.

"We told them to stay at home and eat their vegetables, drink their cold water, eat their cocoa and not to move around.

"I think that currently, they're doing that. Prevention is better than cure."