Today the Directorate of Disaster marked a significant launching ceremony which saw the Minister for Health and Member for Atolls, Hon. Raymond Masono cut the ribbon to open four 23ft containers filled with Trukai and Roots rice, all supplies to be delivered to the disaster affected areas in Bougainville.
“Bougainville is a disaster prone area. We have volcanoes we have floods and we have the situation in the Atolls and so having a budget for food relief in the accounts of the government to provide to the needs of the most isolated communities is what we are aiming for,” Masono said.
“We are establishing this relationship with Trukai Rice to purchase rice directly from the manufacturer so it is cost effective and less expensive. And I agree that this is a good arrangement and I want to acknowledge the Director for Disaster and Management for coming up with this arrangement."
The launching of the food relief supplies was witnessed by the Public Service, Acting Chief Secretary Shadrach Himata and the staffs of the Directorate of Disaster.
The containers arrived just in time to relieve the people of Atolls who continuosly face food shortages due to the remoteness of the islands and the effects of climate change in their communities.
Director for Disaster Directorate John Imaka said that this was a result of a successful negotiation with the Trukai industries, the sole distributor of Trukai and Roots Rice to Papua New Guinea; and the procurement process being facilitated by the Autonomous Bougainville Government.
“We are pleased to announce further that the arrangement with the Trukai Industries is the first of its kind for ABG Disaster Directorate to enter into. Under this arrangement, Trukai Industries will supply food relief on a quarterly basis to address food security issues for the people of the Atolls," Imaka said.
"This food relief supplies will cater for quarters one and two of 2021; whilst the Disaster Directorate and ABG would facilitate food relief for the third and fourth quarters of this year," he said.
Acting Chief Secretary Shadrach Himata said that the ABG has allocated funding to MV Jayrolau Shipping to ferry the food rations to the Atolls. MV Jayrolau Shipping arrived on Friday afternoon 04/06/2021 and MV Tiare is expected to arrive in Buka next week, to dispatch food rations to the Atolls.
"I believe that as part of serving the Atolls with this kind of arrangements we can serve other areas in Bougainville," Himata said.
"We believe that out of this arrangement we could supply at least hundred bags to our people in Buin and also another hundred bags to our people in Wakunai. So with this arrangement I hope we can reach an agreement with Trukai Rice so that on a quarterly basis we are able to give relief to our people whenever we need to assist them with food," he said.
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