Ngavalus


New Ireland is the northeastern-most province of Papua New Guinea. The province consists of the larger island of New Ireland and thirteen smaller islands, making a total landmass of 9,600 square kilometers to house a population of 118,350. While there are a few small urban centers on New Ireland, the majority of the population lives in rural villages scattered along the coasts of all the islands in the province. Temperatures reach between 26ºC and 28ºC during the day, persisting into the night. Though the actual temperature does not change much in the evening, the breeze off the sea and the drop in humidity make it feel much cooler. Like the rest of Papua New Guinea, New Ireland experiences only two seasons due to its proximity to the equator: a wet season from roughly August to February and a dry season lasting the remainder of the year.

Topographically, New Ireland is primarily flat. The 2011 H.I.T. team was based on the northwestern part of the island where the gradient increases toward the center of the island. In fact, the dominating mountainous region is found in the southern part of the island where peaks can reach up to 2,340 meters. There are also very few fresh water rivers and streams within close proximity to the village of Ngavalus. Like the mountains, rivers are concentrated in the southern part of the island so the people living in the northern areas must rely on wells for fresh water. The most prominent geographical feature of New Ireland is the reef that lines the northern coast. The reef, which extends off the coastline for roughly 91 meters, is teeming with fish, lobsters, coral, and a number of other creatures found in tropical waters all of which provide peoples living by the coast with both sustenance and a source of income. The environment on the coast is not conducive to large-scale subsistence gardening therefore; people rely heavily on the sea and fruit-bearing trees for the bulk of their diets.

Date Entered: August 2011

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