Friday, October 16, 2015

Drought and Fires

 After a week of rains, we have had almost 2 wks of no rain.  The tanks are getting low, the mangos are growing, fires are easily started and have lots of fuel to keep them going.

Last night, just after finishing dinner with Ben and Katherine Radcliffe, we heard crackling outside.  I looked out the window and saw a large fire in the garden.  Ben and I grabbed buckets of water and ran to try and put the flames out.  The fire was quickly spreading and as we turned to go and get more water, the McCoys, security, Don and Andy were there coming to help, soon a number of kids were there too helping to put out the fire.  The villagers were on the other side of the fence, also trying to help and put the fire out, and watch us as we worked.  Thankfully, we were able to stop the spread of the fire, but not before it destroyed the brush along the fence.  As we were finishing up our fire, another fire broke out on station and many went to help put that out.  Thankfully the fires were squelched without damage to houses.  Today, while surveying the damage, we noticed the vegetables near the fire had also suffered some burns.

The lack of rain has now shut down our hydro electric power.  We don't have enough water to keep the canal full and the power coming.  We are now relying on our large donated generator for power, (thank you Madan plantation for this timely gift) and are praying for rain.  Not only do we not have power, but we are also running short on water for the station and hospital.  We are relying on our well water to supply as much as it can, but when our water pump acts up, we have trouble.  The river and reservoir help supplement what the well doesn't provide, but is also very laborsome for all.  Due to the lack of water, the prices of food are also increasing and the gardens that many people usually live off of are all dried up.  Kaukau, the main staple of diets here in the Highlands has become scarce and very expensive.  People are hungry, water is scarce and unclean, we need rain.

Please continue to pray for rain for Papua New Guinea.