Prime Minister Hon. James Marape on Friday, 21st June, 2024, took an urgent trip to Western Province to see affected communi- ties along the Fly River following a flood disaster that has caused major dis- placement of people in various districts of the province.

Upon arriving in Kiunga, North Fly District – together with Western Province Mem- bers of Parliament in an Ok Tedi Mining Ltd sponsored charter Flight from Port Moresby – Prime Minister Marape flew by helicopter to the most affected areas in three electorates – Obo (Middle Fly), Suki (South Fly) and Hawaba (Delta Fly).

The Prime Minister was also accompanied by Minister for Works and Telefomin MP, Hon. Solan Mirisim and Defense Minister and Nipa-Kutubu MP, Hon. Dr Billy Joseph.

PM Marape expressed his sympathies for the people affected by the disaster taking time to comfort them as he engaged with communities and spoke to them.

He offered immediate relief and restoration assistance from the National Government, committing a K10 million funding support.

This was complemented by a funding commitment of K20 million from Ok Tedi Mining Ltd, and a collection of support from the Western Provincial Government and the local district development authorities totaling about K6 million.

The National Disaster Office has also given K1 million, as well as Department of Works and Highways which has offered K500,000.

PM Marape also committed to have fresh food delivered from neighbouring Highlands districts – Nipa, Southern Highlands Province; Telefomin, West Sepik Province; and Tari-Pori, Hela Province, as part of food relief.

“After visiting the most affected areas of Obo, Suki and Hawaba in Western Province along the Fly River following the flood disaster, the government is offering immediate assistance in terms of funding and food supplies, as the affected communities are experiencing hunger with their homes under water right now. Relocation and long-term restoration of the people in these affected villages are also being looked at,” said Prime Minister Marape upon re- turning to Kiunga airport the same day.

“I commend the leaders of Western Province for raising the concern for their people and putting the proposal through for us to ensure relief and permanent restoration for our people in the affected communities take place.”

Western Governor Taboi Awi Yoto estimates a total of 155 villages involving some 20,000 people displaced by the flooding.

Immediately what is needed for the affected communities is fresh drinking water, food, temporary shelter and medical assistance.