Papua New Guinea Prepares for Drought Season

Submitted by Heidi on Thu, 05/08/2021 - 16:19

Every year droughts have a significant effect on communities in Papua New Guinea. In rural communities that rely on farming, affected crops can lead to food shortages and insecurity. Many people are forced to search for alternative water sources, which can lead to the spread of waterborne diseases. 

In 2015 - 2016 Papua New Guinea experienced one of its worst droughts in recent history. Roughly 40% of the population was affected with almost half a million people experiencing food shortages due to destroyed crops. As a result of the water shortages many schools, businesses and health clinics were forced to close. These events have been made worse as a result of climate change and will continue to affect vulnerable communities without proper action. 

According to PNG National Weather Service’s 'Early Action Rainfall Watch' for Feb ‘21 Update, future predictions for Papua New Guinea suggest an increased likelihood of drought in the coming months for Madang, Kavieng and Momote. It is likely this will have impacts on human health (leading to malnutrition, dehydration and diarrhoea), a loss of livestock, and social and livelihood disruption. 

Papua New Guinea’s vulnerability to drought led to the creation of a series of posters and stickers which promote preparedness in affected communities. The resources focus on the importance of water storage, repairing leaks and turning off running taps. These simple messages are designed to engage communities to undertake simple everyday tasks which will help them prepare for oncoming drought seasons. The posters and stickers have been produced in Tok Pisin and will be displayed in public places and community areas. 

 

The drought preparedness posters and stickers were produced as part of the Resilient WASH in the Islands Region of Papua New Guinea Program. This program is an Australian aid initiative implemented by Live & Learn Environmental Education in partnership with Plan International on behalf of the Australian Government.

You can view or download the PNG drought resources, here.