IOM Delivers Water Containers to Earthquake-Affected Communities in Markam District
Port Moresby – The International Organization for Migration (IOM), in partnership with the Morobe Provincial Disaster Centre, has assisted 134 families affected by the 7.6 magnitude earthquake in Markham district in Morobe province by distributing 10-litre collapsible water containers to identified families, thanks to the funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA).
People from the communities of Huweng (Ngariawang), Binimamp and Chichingbampun (Garam) reported that their drinking water sources were polluted when the 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck Morobe province on 11 September 2022, and noted that several community members, especially women and children, had to walk long distances to fetch water from the creeks, shallow wells, and water taps in neighboring communities. The affected families needed water containers to improve the collection and storage of water for drinking and cooking.
“The water point that usually provides the entire community with drinking water was polluted during the earthquake, and we now resort to fetching water from far away creeks and riverbanks. The water containers from IOM will help us in fetching and storing water for our families’ usage,” said Lucy Biawa of Huweng community.
Besides the damage caused by the earthquake, the three communities have been experiencing water scarcity mainly because of the prolonged dry season.
A community leader from Chichingbampun, George Rifi highlighted their struggle to access drinking water and welcomed the assistance. “Accessing clean and safe drinking water has been a huge challenge for us because we haven’t had enough rain for over six months, and the damage caused by the earthquake has worsened the water insecurity situation,” said George.