MRL Capital Limited, in May, assisted three drought affected villages on Lihir.

The Company’s Lihir Office Manager Patrick Labongis, presented a K15,000 cheque to Papindo Lihir for the purchase of food supplies to be distributed to the 1,053 people of Kuelam, Lakamelen and Lih villages, all on Mahur Island. “On behalf of the disaster committee and the disaster affected areas, I would like to thank MRLC for showing concern in assisting the Lihirians who are suffering from the recent drought,”

Disaster Committee Chairman Samuel Tabairuo said. Lihir has not had rain since September last year. On Mahur island, where MRL Capital’s K15,000 assistance will be received, the prolonged drought has affected the islanders’ food gardens, water sources and schools.

Health service has also been affected and while there has been an increase in the number of sick children and adults, there has been no water to administer medication said acting local level government secretary Gregory Opat.

In a situational report sent to the company for assistance, Mr Opat said: “The soil has become too dry that food and cash crops have not been able to grow well. “At Makapa Primary School, student attendance has been affected, with classes running only until lunchtime when students are sent home. “While the coastal villages of Lakamelen and Kuelam have bore water wells, the people of Lih have been traveling up and down the mountains daily to find water.”

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