Hailstorms and frost cause famine in the Lanny Jaya Regency

Hailstorms and frost in mid-July 2022 (see photo on top, source: Jubi) have caused the destruction of gardens and livestock in parts of the Lanny Jaya Regency, Papua Province. According to media sources, the natural disaster has led to a famine in the Kuyawage District. About 2,740 persons, most indigenous Papuans, have been affected by extreme weather conditions.

The Lanny Jaya Regent, Mr Petrus Wakerkwa declared, that hailstorms like those in the Kuyawage District are part of a natural phenomenon that periodically occurs in Lanny Jaya every 6 years.

The social affairs ministry organised the distribution of rice and other relief supplies on 20 July and 8 August 2022 (see photo below). On 4 August 2022, the local government delegated a team of ten health workers and one doctor to Kuyawage. The team confirmed that three toddlers died due to the famine, while 61 villagers suffered from diarrhoea.

Relief supplies are distributed among affected villagers in the Kuyawage District, Lanny Jaya Regency (source: Jubi)

Following the food shortage, the local government in Lanny Jaya has declared an emergency response state for the Kuyawage District. Government observers estimate that the consequences of the natural disaster will affect the local population in Kuyawage until late October 2022.