Prime Minister Hon. James Marape on Easter Sunday visited the disaster-stricken people of Angoram and Wosera-Gawi in East Sepik Province, assuring them of National Government support as they come to terms with the effects of the double-disaster that hit them mid last month.

Prime Minister Marape, after launching a program in Markham District of Morobe Province on Good Friday, flew by helicopter to Angoram and Pagwi  –  the district headquarter of Wosera-Gawi – with his wife, Mrs Rachael Marape, to see the people and reassure them of his government’s support. Mrs Marape is partly of East Sepik origin, from Wosera-Gawi district.

The Prime Minister also used the opportunity to make an aerial assessment of the damages.

Sepik people living along the Sepik River were hit by major flooding of homes and food gardens after continuous rains swelled the river two weeks ago. On Sunday 24 March, not long after the flooding, a 6.9 magnitude earthquake also hit the province, 38 kilometres from Ambunti government station.

At Pagwi on Sunday, Prime Minister Marape conveyed his sympathies to the victims, and said K2 million is being released by the National Treasury for immediate relief assistance for them while the East Sepik Provincial Government completes its full report on the impact of the disaster, after which the National Government will step in with full funding for restorative efforts.

On top of the K2 million disaster relief package to the East Sepik Provincial Government, over K10 million in total is being distributed to all districts and local level government areas affected.

The breakdown is as follows: ESPG K2 million; Wosera-Gawi K2 million; Angoram K2 million; Ambunti- Drekikir K1 million; Yangoru-Saussia K1 million; Wewak DDA K1 million; Maprik Urban LLG K500,000; Gawi LLG K500,000; Vanimo DDA K1 million; Nuku DDA K1 million.

PM Marape urged all Sepik Members of Parliament and the provincial government to work together with the National Government to address this matter, adding, “Despite the politics that is going on in Waigani, we must put our differences aside and recognize the needs of our people in the affected areas.”

“Government must go to people at the earliest, without delay. Local level governments, provincial governments and district development authorities are the working hands of the National Government on the ground so we will empower them to assist our people with immediate relief and care as well as next phase of restoration and development,” continued PM Marape.

The Prime Minister also travelled to Gumine and Gembogl in Chimbu province on Monday on a similar mission to comfort the people and offer National Government’s immediate relief assistance. Chimbu was recently hit by landslides, burying homes and food gardens and cutting off vital road services.