Papua New Guinea landslide: 80,000 people face starvation after disaster

Tens of thousands of people are facing starvation in Papua New Guinea’s Porgera Valley following a massive landslide in May.

Sir Peter Ipatas, the governor of Enga province, has signalled that about 80,000 people were at risk of starvation following the disaster.

Access to Porgera mine was still cut off, hampering the flow of supplies, goods and services.

Community leader Miok Michael said starvation was a real threat for many.

“There are people living after the landslide area where the mine site is, more than 80,000 people living there,” Michael said.

“Due to the landslide and blockage of the road, there is no food supply to the people living in and in that area.”

Hundreds of people were believed to have been buried alive in the landslide in Enga province.

Only five people were dug out from the disaster area, and many bodies remained buried.

Michael said the provincial disaster committee had been advising people to move out of the area because the land was still unstable.

The survivors were still suffering from lack of food and no firm relocation plan, he said.

“There’s no temporary relocation plan being made to the affected people.”

Census ‘a big challenge’

Papua New Guinea is trying to conduct a total population count in the midst of the disaster.

Michael said it was going to be a “big challenge” for the area affected by the landslide.

“There is no temporary route for cars to travel to actually count.”

Population growth in Papua New Guinea has been described as a ticking time bomb. The census is expected to reveal a population in excess of 10 million, with a projection that will double by 2050.

The last PNG population count was conducted in 2011, at which time it was was just over seven million.

The nationwide count started on 17 June and will run until 30 June.

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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