Jayapura, 31/12 (Jubi/Solomon Star) – People living on drought-stricken Long Island in Madang are to be helped by the provincial government, Governor Jim Kas says.
Kas and a team of public servants visited the island last Thursday to survey and assess the effect of the six-month drought on the more than 5,000 people, especially the supply of fresh, clean water and food.
Nine islanders reportedly died after they ate sago because there was no other food available.
The provincial government will provide weekly charter flights to enable public servants to deliver government services to the people on the island on the Rai Coast.
Kas met members of the provincial executive council on Monday and resolved to begin weekly charter flights.
Long Island is located east of Madang. More than 5,000 people who live in three villages have been missing out on basic government services for years, mainly because of communication problems.
Kas and his team visited the island last week after The National Newspaper carried a front page story highlighting the plight of the islanders.
Kas found out that public servants spent too much money reaching Madang because they had to travel to Siassi, then to Lae before catching PMVs to Madang.