World Vision responds to Port Moresby village fire with WASH, health-related relief items

World Vision today responded to meet WASH and health related needs of 18 households in the Port Moresby village of Hanuabada in the National Capital District.


Hanuabada children look out to remains of what is left of their homes. Photos: Tommy Maima/World Vision.

Three more houses have burnt down since the major fire which gutted 15 homes over the weekend on Saturday 19, August, 2017, at the urban village of Hanuabada, just outside Port Moresby. This has brought the total number of houses burnt down to 38, including 20 partially burnt houses (initially reported at 12 houses).


World Vision staff packing relief items for distribution. Photos: Paula Kari/World Vision. 

World Vision staff packing relief items for distribution. Photos: Tanya Hisanan/World Vision

Among the partially burnt 20 houses are families who have been asked by the local fire authority PNG Power, to vacate their homes due to risks associated with electricity faults after the major fire. A total of 169 people including men, women and children from the 18 initial destroyed homes are currently being affected, with an estimated 400 people impacted overall.


Zone 1 Operations Manager (Port Moresby, Morobe & Bougainville) Stella Rumbam talking about World Vision's response during the distribution at Hanuabada Village. Photo: Tommy Maima/World Vision.

Fuelled by strong winds and fire catching on from burning plastic and rubble around the homes, the 15 homes were gutted to the ground, catching on to the additional 12 more homes as fire fighters and villagers worked tiringly to put out the fire and save what they could of their family homes, built and lived over the years by generation to generation.


World Vision staff distributing relief items to families affected by the fire. Photos: Tommy Maima/World Vision.

The response is also hoped to create space for children and women for awareness raising in health, WASH and protection, among other activities.

“World Vision PNG is responding with WASH and health-related NFIs first to the 18 affected households. Once we receive a confirmed numbers from the additional partially burnt homes, we will look to assist them in our next distribution. We are also considering options to continue support to those affected, creating child-friendly spaces for children and ensuring they are ready to go back to school,” said Stella Rumbam, Operations Manager Zone 1 (Morobe, Bougainville & Port Moresby Area Programs).

World Vision PNG’s response with the NFIs is supported by and the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) through the NZ High Commission in Port Moresby.


World Vision staff distributing relief items to families affected by the fire. Photo: Paula Kari/World Vision. 

Distribution items include collapsible jerry cans, first aid kit, mosquito nets, blankets, hygiene items including laundry and bathing soap, comb, towels, toilet roll, sanitary pads for women and girls and large packing bag.

World Vision also donated a tent to the community to help house the survivors and is setting up booths at Hanuabada Village and in partnership with the National Capital District Commission, to provide psycho-social supporting including setting up a call centre to assist with the relief and response by NCDC. 

World Vision PNG’s Hanuabada Ranu Bona Mauri Namona Gaukara or Water and Healthy Life Project, funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) has been working in Hanuabada to improve access to safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, waste collection services and improving hygiene and waste disposal behaviour for more than 17,950 people (2,500 households). 

World Vision will continue to work with the Hanuabada community and partners including the NCDC through the WASH project and is already plannning its annual major clean-up for September.

Cousins Heni (left) & Justin (right) sit on on the newly constructed boardwalk at Hanuabada Village, passing time. Both attend the local primary school but are now not going to school after the fire destroyed Heni's family home while the walls of Justin's  home (seen in the background) had to be ripped off to stop the fire from spreading to his home and the nearby homes. Photos: Tanya Hisanan/World Vision.