Water contamination major problem after PNG‘s 7.5 quake

An assessment team has found that severe water contamination is a major issue in Papua New Guinea‘s Western Province following February‘s 7.5 earthquake.

Photo: Barbara Lokes/OilSearchLtd

The Post Courier reported an extensive assessment was carried in the North Fly by of two MPs and local Emergency controller.

Western provincial disaster co-ordinator, Phillip Garuat said something must be done to combat and, if possible, reverse the effects of water pollution directly caused by landslips from the earthquake.

Mr Garuat said thousands of tonnes of debris and mountainous terrain were emptied into the rivers causing a flood that destroyed gardens, killed fish, diverted river systems and rendered the water undrinkable.

He said 116 villages were in serious need of relief.

Provincial authorities have met with Oil Search, OK Tedi and other companies who have said they will do their best to ensure relief supplies reach affected communities.

Four-hundred water tanks are to be supplied, with water purification tablets and about 60 tonnes of food is said to be planned for Western Province alongside reconstruction kits.