Quite a few people have asked about what the quake affected people in Hela and Southern Highlands need so this blog post is about that.
A few people have remarked that the people affected are subsistence farmers and that they still have food to eat because they plant food. Reality is their gardens have been destroyed and it is dangerous for them to go into the foothills and the valleys or mountainsides because of the ongoing aftershocks.
Their houses have been destroyed and they have moved from the locations of their hamlets to central locations like schools, airstrips and mission stations to seek help.
Congregating in large numbers in one location as communities is unusual for them. Losing their independence and relying on someone to give them food is also not their way of life. What they need is help to get back on their feet and resume their way of life.
From what I have gathered during visits to the sites, they need the following:
- Good quality tarpaulins for shelter – They live in a high rainfall area. The temperature drops rapidly at night and without shelter, young children and older people will get sick.
- Food – With limited access to food gardens, food is a priority for them.
- Water – Their water sources have been polluted. They need large water containers, tanks and clean water (as an immediate need).
- Warm clothes + blankets –Sweaters, jackets and simple blankets will help a lot to ease their burden. It is not as important as the others mentioned, but it will help.
- Children’s clothing – also not an immediate priority but it will help a lot.
Please do not ‘donate’ things you want to get rid of. Large heavy duty tarpaulins will go a long way to help several families. Water containers will also do a lot of good.
People to contact are:
Thomas Eluh, PA for Southern Highlands
Joseph Bando – PA Hela Province
Dr. Tana Kiak – Tari Hospital
Inbox me for contact details or text me on 70300459