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26 December 2015

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There is some rain in Simbu now and for the last month. This was one of the worst affected provinces in PNG.

For this high altitude province (1,500 to 2,500 metres above sea level), kaukau tubers take 6 to 9 months to form.

While some new varieties now can yield in 3 to 4 months, as was seen in the 1997 drought, tubers don't usually form early. So the shortage in food will continue for a long while yet.

To make matters worse, the government has not carried out any reliable assessments of the extent of the drought in the provinces, especially in Simbu.

The responses, coordination and management by authorities in terms of provision of relief food to the affected communities have been very disappointing. This has been shown time and again in Simbu.

Due to the rain there are some vegetables in the gardens and around the houses now. But no serious starch yet.

We hope for some good coordination from here on in the distribution of seeds, kaukau vines, tapioca sticks, cornseed etc as the people try struggle to get back their normal subsistence lives.

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