Surviving through drought in the Highlands
From mid-2015 onwards, the PNG highlands experienced widespread impacts from the El Nino weather phenomenon, including drought and localised frosts. With the most affected regions being agricultural hubs of the country, the repercussions on food security and the national economy were felt country-wide.
With funding from the European Union, CARE undertook an integrated mitigation and resilience package that focused on public health and disease prevention, food security and agricultural resilience across severely drought-affected locations in six districts of the Western Highlands, Eastern Highlands and Chimbu Provinces. The photo above shows a health worker measuring the circumference of a baby's arm for signs of malnutrition.
More than 50,000 people (10,000 households) were assisted by the programme – including Mary Kolua from Paume village, who said:
The relief distribution was unbelievable because it covered so many households, many wards, and all distributions were completed on the same day! The distribution kit contained many items that help us in many ways – fetching and storing additional water, bathing with soap, and the tinned fish is providing us high protein. We are very happy!
The project ran from January to September 2016 and was funded by ECHO (European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection).