Isolated communities in Papua New Guinea have been suffering from drought for numerous months. A major step in lifting them out of need came this week when IOM and the EU stepped up their joint programme to provide drinking water, health promotion, and agriculture recovery to more than 90,000 people in rural Hela, Enga, Jiwaka and Simbu provinces.
In Giraben Sigiri, Jiwaka province the EU Ambassador to Papua New Guinea, IOM’s Regional Director for Asia-Pacific and the Jiwaka Provincial Administration authorities joined local communities to inaugurate a borehole that will provide the community with clean and sustainable water.
“We always put the people at the heart of our response operations and I’m glad to see that these community-driven efforts are gaining great momentum in the affected areas. I hope this will continue until full recovery,” said Nenette Motus, IOM Regional Director for Asia-Pacific.
IOM and the EU provide drinking water, health promotion, and agriculture recovery to more than 90,000 people in rural Hela, Enga, Jiwaka and Simbu provinces. Photo: IOM 2016
The Jiwaka Provincial Administration has committed to provide an electric water pump and large water storage tanks.
Deputy Provincial Administrator Joe Karap noted, “Not only do we now have a reliable, safe water source but also a safe environment for women and girls to have access to water at their door steps.”
EU Ambassador Ioannis Giogkarakis-Argyropoulos said, “Some 65,000 individuals affected by El Niño will benefit from this initiative by receiving agricultural kits and training in conservation farming and crop diversification.”
The EU-IOM drought response, funded by European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department (ECHO), primarily centers on the supply of clean drinking water, participatory health, and hygiene (PHHE) and agricultural recovery in the severely affected areas of the Highlands.
Under its agriculture capacity building support, IOM has established a cohort of 100 “Master Farmers” in the Highlands. These expert farmers will provide guidance, hands-on support, and technical advice to their respective communities. More than 9,000 agricultural kits consisting of seeds, tools and other necessary items have also been distributed.