Frost wreaks havoc in PNG

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Western Highlands, Papua New Guinea

Severe frost in areas of Papua New Guinea’s Western Highlands province has had a disastrous impact on local vegetable producers, including a number of Adventists. 

In the past it has affected only a few people, but now it covers the whole of Tomba and Tambul.

Church leaders in Tomba and Tambul said local residents “wept openly” after several days of frost left their food crops withered and brown, almost “as though someone had poured out water on the plants.” 

The frost in Nebliyer district started on Tuesday, August 11, and by Thursday morning the produce was destroyed.

Among the ruined vegetables were crops of potatoes, broccolis and cauliflowers which get distributed to markets and mining centres across Papua New Guinea.

Local community leader Titus Nokopa estimated thousands of kina of produce had been destroyed.

“In the past it has affected only a few people, but now it covers the whole of Tomba and Tambul,” he said.

Church leaders said it will take some time for the people to recover, as the frost has affected both mature and younger crops.

Mr Nokopa and Kombo Seventh-day Adventist Church pastor Solomon Paul have called upon the Western Highlands Disaster Office to assess the situation and provide assistance.