Communities Affected by Hailstorm, Strong Winds Receive Assistance from IOM and USAID
Port Moresby – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) assisted families affected by hailstorm, and strong winds that struck Yebi community (16/09) in Southern Highlands province, and Kelepa-Dua community (27/09) in Western province respectively.
IOM, in partnership with the Provincial Disaster Centres in these two provinces, as well as Western province’s North Fly District Disaster Office, deployed the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) to identify the needs of the affected population. Funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, IOM delivered emergency shelter materials, including tarpaulins, tire wire and ropes to the most affected population in Southern Highlands and Western provinces.
Affected families in Southern Highlands highlighted that the limited availability of local materials, such as kunai grass made it difficult to repair their houses that were damaged by strong winds.
"Many of us still live under kunai thatched roofs and these were blown away by the strong winds, leaving many of us in a difficult situation. Unlike in the past years, kunai grass is now scarce making it difficult for us to build or repair our houses. The shelter materials that USAID and IOM have supplied will help us in repairing our houses," said Peter Luke, a pastor from Yebi community.
In addition to helping families in Yebi community, IOM also delivered shelter materials for the community to rehabilitate church buildings and elementary classrooms that were damaged by the strong winds in Yebi.
"We thank you for your timely response at a time when many of us needed help," said Mr. Frank Otmar, Yebi Primary School's Head Teacher.
IOM staff and North Fly District Disaster Officers also conducted an awareness raising session for affected communities to help prepare them for natural hazards risks such as flooding and strong winds.
IOM's assistance benefited 544 women, men, and children in Yebi (359) and Kelepa-Dua (185) communities.