07 August 2015
The drought and falling sleet phenomenon during the middle of July 2015 in the Agandugume District in the Puncak Regency in the Province of Papua and a few surrounding regions have had an impact on its environment and community. The sleet has been coming down ever since July 5, 2015.
The drought and sleet that has hit the Agandugume District in the Puncak Regency in Papua has damaged the community’s vegetation crops, which represents their staple food, thus causing a food crisis in the region.
In response to this situation, PTFI as one of the companies operating in Papua indicated its concern in the form of sending human aid.
The first batch arrived on Friday (7/17) comprising 2.3 ton of food stock to aid the community living in the Agandugume District. The second batch of aid arrived several days later, namely on Thursday (7/23), consisting of 2.1 ton of food also distributed to the community in Kuyawage who were also hit by the drought and falling snow.
The aid from PTFI which initially would be handed over by the Minister of Social Affairs, Kofifah Indar Parawansa and State Minister for Women and Child Protection, Yohana Yambise to the region was eventually handed over symbolically at the hanger of the Mozes Kilangin Airport Timika on Wednesday (7/22) due to bad weather which prevented the helicopter from flying to distribute the aid to the stricken areas. The symbolical hand-over by the Minister of Social Affairs was to the Kuyawage Chief of the Adat Community Council, Max Oter Murib.
The Minister sent her message to the stricken communities in Kuyawage asking them to have patience and remain strong in facing this natural disaster. She also expressed her appreciation to PTFI for their immediate response and concern for the communities.
Max Oter Murib on behalf of the communities stated, “We praise the Lord and are very grateful to all elements that have come to our aid in the villages at a time when we are hit by cold and hunger. We feel everyone’s concern for us. Now, we will not be hungry for a while because we have plenty of stock for some time ahead,” said Max.
Max added that the snow and sleet are phenomena happening once a year, every June-July, especially during the hot season. “During the day it is extremely hot, but at nightfall the sleet comes down. This happens every year but normally just for one day; however this year it has lasted for over a week,” Max explained.
Max further related that the snowfall damages their vegetation and tuber crops causing a drought. In the Puncak Regency region the worst hit are three villages in the Agandugume District, Puncak Regency.
According to PTFI Vice President Community Development, Claus Wamafma, PTFI is committed to assist the community in the surroundings of the Contract of Work area; however although the area stricken by extreme weather conditions is far from PTFI’s Jobsite the company feels the need to assist those hit by a natural disaster. This effort also represents a part of the PTFI CSR program. Claus hopes that the aid will benefit the communities in both areas optimally, and help to overcome their current trying predicament. (Hendrikus)