OLD Kaupa Bani walks with a tall cane fashioned from a black palm outside his hut in Kanma village. Blind, burdened by joint pains, too weak to work his garden, and with no children to look after him, he has been helped by extended family.
But as a devastating drought hits Papua New Guinea with a force few rural villages were prepared for, the flow of kindness has turned into scraps in the last nine months. Some days Bani eats nothing.
"I have to be fed to get strength," Bani tells an interpreter. "But since the drought, there's been insufficient food, so I've grown very weak.