Pa­pua New Guinea drought could be worst in decades: PM

The China Post - - LIFE GUIDE POST -

Pa­pua New Guinea’s gov­ern­ment said Mon­day it had sent food and wa­ter to drought and frost-hit re­gions, as it warned a cur­rent dry spell could be the worst in decades.

Prime Min­is­ter Peter

O’Neill said the poverty-stricken Pa­cific na­tion, where many are de­pen­dent on sub­sis­tence agri­cul­ture, should pre­pare for con­di­tions to de­te­ri­o­rate.

“This drought has the po­ten­tial to be worse than 1997 and 1998,” he said in a state­ment, re­fer­ring to a dev­as­tat­ing pe­riod in which some 500 peo­ple are thought to have died from dis­eases spawned by a pro­longed drought.

O’Neill said the gov­ern­ment was pre­par­ing for “the pos­si­bil­ity of an ex­tended drought with re­lated frost, made worse due to the af­fects of cli­mate change”.

“Cur­rently 1,842,000 peo­ple have been af­fected by this ex­treme weather, of which 1,303,000 are classed as be­ing in the most at risk, cat­e­gory 4, drought,” he said.

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