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Drought brings social challenges

Tuesday 22 September 2015 | Published in Regional


PORT MORSEBY – Social challenges have been stressed as one of the main problems the Papua New Guinea government must be aware of as the country continues to face El Nino’s severe effects.

Disaster control expert Robin Yakumb from the Western Highlands Provincial Disaster Office said social problems like traumatisation, stealing, and mental disorder in children caused by malnutrition can occur unexpectedly if no positive actions are taken to safeguard the wellbeing of the people.

“You will see that we will have social problems if there are no appropriate measures taken to alleviate the situation.

“All problems or challenges are inter-related where people are affected, like health and social problems.

“People can be deeply traumatised when they see things happening in our country if the government or people are not prepared, like diseases affecting them at a dramatic rate.

“And there will be unrest because people will be fighting for little food, people will be stealing from others and you will see that we will have so much social problems,’’ Yukumb said.

He also stressed the strengthening early warning systems so that all are aware of approaching natural disasters to be able to prepare themselves and support should be given to relevant institutions like the Medical Research Institute or the National Weather Service so that they carry out their work effectively to prepare the country in terms of relevant information or practices.

He said health issues like rising incidences of certain sicknesses are also challenges that the government must be aware of to efficiently deliver required support to the people or appropriate agencies to counter harsh impacts.