Papua New Guinea
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Minister Tsiamalili visits Torokina

Bougainville Regional MP, Peter Tsiamalili Jnr, paid a visit to the victims of the recent volcano eruption in Torokina, South Bougainville.

MP Tsiamalili Jnr flew in from Rabaul, and then headed to Torokina to assess the situation and offer aid to those affected.

The eruption had a devastating impact on villages along the South and East coast, with Wakunai on the West side also being affected. Tsiamalili Junior, representing the National Government on behalf of Prime Minister James Marape and Deputy Prime Minister Hon John Rosso, as well as South and Central MPs, Timothy Masiu and Simon Domarinu, came to provide comfort and leadership to the people of Torokina.

Being deeply connected to the region as it is his home, Tsiamalili Jnr expressed his concern for the victims and acknowledged the need to be present on the ground to gather first-hand information about the situation. With limited access to Torokina, it was essential for him to see how the local administration and people on the ground were managing themselves.

He had previously authorized the use of Manolos Aviation on July 18, 2023, to bring in experts who could assess the current status of the volcano. These experts would assist the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) Administration, led by Deputy Secretary Operations Esther Usurup and Torokina Disaster Management Coordinator Boniface Wadari, in better planning for the victims' needs.

As of now, there is a significant number of displaced families seeking refuge at Piva airstrip. Many are still making their way down from the mountains to the evacuation center, and more are expected to come.

The urgent requirements include additional canvases for shelter and food supplies. Access to clean drinking water is also challenging, but efforts are underway to identify water sources.

Tsiamalili Jnr highlighted that apart from women and children, the elderlies and persons with disability faced another significant challenge, as they were not as mobile and unable to move quickly away from the volcano's danger zone.

The minister’s visit serves as a vital step in understanding the extent of the devastation and providing necessary aid to the affected communities in Torokina.