Survivors of PNG landslide :“The stones from the mountain keep falling, we are afraid more could be killed, we don’t sleep at night”

Frida Yeahkal said they’re too scared to sleep at night (UNDP)

“We don’t have a place to stay, and we barely eat and drink. We have nothing left,” said a survivor of the landslide in Papua New Guinea’s Enga Province.

Twenty-year-old Frida Yeahkal, a community member whose face was covered in mud said, “All we are asking for is for a safe place to settle in. The stones from the mountain keep falling. We are afraid more could be killed, that’s why we don’t sleep at night”. 

It has been nine days since an unprecedented landslide struck Yambali village in Enga Province. 

Thousands have been affected. Hundreds are believed to still be buried under the rubble. A vibrant community and its livelihoods have been destroyed.  

Devastated community leader Yuri Yapara when interviewed by the UN Media Team emotionally said this, “All these people are buried underground, where will we bury them. 

“Where will survivors go? We don’t have land anymore. Our gardens are gone; our houses are gone. Me and my family members have lost everything. We are lost and don’t know what to do.” 

As the host of the Disaster Management Team, UNDP is playing an active role in the emergency response in Enga. 

UN humanitarian Advisor Mate Bagossy said, “It’s a very complicated situation but we are here. The United Nations is trying to provide all the support that we can, and several of our agencies are here at the moment including UNDP.” 

The Disaster Management Team hosted by UNDP is coordinating the relief efforts that will be used to meet the immediate needs of the affected population. However, most resources are needed to support the communities. 

The Government of Australia has pledged AUD$2.5 million worth of support to attend to the immediate needs of the victims. More resources are required to support the long-term recovery of the affected population.