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Papua New Guinea's Nuguria Islands are sinking

PNG Post Courier -

Nuguria Islands, also known as the Abgarris or Fead Islands, are a Polynesian outlier and islands of Papua New Guinea.

They are located nearly 150 kilometres from the northern end of Buka Island, in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville and consist of two closely spaced atoll formations.

Nuguria Islands has more than 30 small islets and the main village is located on the main island called Nuguria.

The main island is now sinking due to rising sea level. The population there is more than 1000 and more than half has fled to resettle at Buka for survival as food crops cannot grow any longer on the island.

During high tide, sea floods the village causing food crops to die and floating village houses.

Nuguria is one of the more isolated islands in PNG and there is no regular shipping service to Buka because of the lack of business activities which can attract shipping companies to service the island.

The Autonomous Bougainville Government provides food relief supplies to the community, however, cannot continue to sustain the community overtime.

This community has many untouched coral reefs with abundance of marine products such as fish and other marine resources, however, cannot grow business because of difficulty in transporting the products to Buka or closest, Namatanai in New Ireland.

High cost of fuel and 10 hours travel in the open sea by dinghy is very risky as many have already lost their lives trying to use 40-60HP outboard motor to travel to Buka or New Irealand to buy food or seek medical attention.

The community recently sought support of ABG and National Fisheries Authority to fund a fishing vessel through their fishing project to alleviate poverty.

ABG has endorsed the proposal which is now with the NFA for further deliberation.

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