THE Bena Bena area lies west of Goroka and is predominantly a savannah grassland valley with the Bena River a blessing in this semi-arid habitat.
Because of its geography and vegetation, the Bena Bena area is highly vulnerable to the effects of prolonged drought and El Nino. This was evident in 1997 and we have a replica of those conditions this year.
On a recent visit to Kopafo village in the area, I observed a number of serious effects including the dry beds of creeks and streams which cause people to walk many kilometers to get water.
Ropes and leaves of kaukau wither as a result of the earth cooking and people are now dependent on cassava, certain species of banana, African yams, pumpkins and sugar cane.