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Old 21-08-2003, 05:38 PM
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Flood hit Sepik River and left 50,000 affected

THE FLOOD affected about than 50, 000 people and caused extensive damage to food gardens and water sources along Sepik River.

Minister for Inter-Government Relations, Sir Peter Barter had made a personal visit to villages along the lower and middle Sepik River to make an on the spot assessment of the situation.
Sir Peter Barter said that following his visit to the Sepik & Ramu River the main concern expressed was the risk of increased incidents of Malaria as the river receded.

The Sepik River
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Old 21-08-2003, 05:44 PM
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Sir Peter said that dysentery always remained a risk, but the prevalence did not appear any higher than expected at that time of the year when the river normally peaked around Easter.
He said some gardens were destroyed but the people survived on fish, saksak together with vegetables that were traded by villages on higher ground.

Dug out canoe from Sepik
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Old 21-08-2003, 05:48 PM
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“The Sepik River reached a higher flood level than normal, but the water level did not reach the peak it did in 1972 – fortunately the people know how to cope with this seasonal condition and used the high water to their advantage to extract sago palm, timber for canoes and houses, and as soon as the river subsided the villagers planted crops in their gardens,” said Sir Peter.
He said the conditions on the middle and lower Sepik was similar to the upper Sepik and Ramu River which all suffer from seasonal flooding.

Chambri Lake in Sepik
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Old 21-08-2003, 05:54 PM
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Meanwhile, he said the National Disaster Centre purchased 10,000 family size treated mosquito nets from “Rotary Against Malaria” and with the help of both the Australian and PNG Defence Forces the nets were flown from Port Moresby to Madang and transported onward by the Melanesian Discoverer to the Angoram District Administrator and the Timbunke Catholic Mission who saw to the distribution of the nets.

Aibom - Sepik River
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Old 21-08-2003, 05:56 PM
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He said those nets were sold at a nominal cost of K5 each.
“The money collected from the sale of mosquito bed nets will assist the work of the Mission to provide health services,” he said.

He said a grass cutter was also purchased by the National Disaster Centre for the Timbunke airstrip, the only airstrip in the middle Sepik River that had been closed for the past 12 months due to uncut grass.
Sir Peter said several drums of petrol and a new boat and motor were also purchased for the Health Staff and Sisters to carryout patrols.

ENDS…

Canoe Making in the Sepik area
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