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Livelihood Sector explains distribution channels for food, urges people to observe Covid-19 rules

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Chairman of the Livelihood Sector Committee (LSC) Michael Ho’ota would like to make clarifications to the general public regarding the distribution channels for relief food supplies that his delivery team will be conducting as of tomorrow (Friday 28th January 2022) in Honiara. 

Mr Ho’ota said as a responsible committee, coordinating food distribution in the Honiara Emergency Zone, they are currently working closely with the Honiara City Council (HCC) through its Ward Committees and Community Committees to ensure everyone receive equal share of support.

And he also appeals to people to observe all Covid-19 rules when distributing and collecting their food supplies.

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“Our distribution channels will be through HCC Ward Committees and Community Committees. It is also important that everyone must adhere to Covid-19 rules or protocols when our response team make delivery at your respective home’s picking points.

“There is enough food for everyone so please consider your neighbours when collecting food. Observing all Covid-19 rules when distributing and collecting your food is critical. We do not want to see what happened during previous mock lockdown exercises where people rush in and grab food from vehicles or serve themselves even when vehicles were still moving. We will get to you, so please make sure your names are registered with your respective community committees,” he said.

On fresh food distribution, Mr Ho’ota said it is being organised by the livelihood committee through the Market Vendors Association through mobile marketing and this is managed by the Honiara City Council.

“The HCC is a member of the livelihood committee. They manage how Honiara residents can access fresh food. The livelihood committee provide transport to registered Market Vendors who participate in mobile marketing during these lockdowns. Also, there are some private sector taking the initiative to do mobile marketing as well.”

At the same time Mr Ho’ota said that during this lockdown period the Committee is closely monitoring and assessing the situation and will respond accordingly in the form of food and water relief response. “There are two response plans that we are undertaking, first is relief response to ships on lockdown, to isolated communities and households (Isolation households) that on isolation after a member or members of their families are tested positive for Covid-19, and relief response to the general public.

“Food distribution in Honiara’s emergency zone which is now under a four days lockdown period will depend on thorough assessment of the communities but the most vulnerable and those with special needs will be prioritize. Responses from the distribution team could be slow because we are working with careful consideration to Covid-19 protocols base upon advice by Ministry of Health and Medical Service (MHMS).

“Depending on the level of infections (community or household), the LSC response teams have to be dressed to adhere to safety procedures for the safety of the response team as well as the recipients and the general public. We (LSC) appeals for patients, understanding and cooperation from the general public as we are now in a real pandemic situation and the LSC has to respond effectively but carefully so as not to expose our officers as well as the general public to the corona virus.

“We are doing our best to provide food relief to those in great need in a timely manner,” he said.

Mr Ho’ota also refuted claims from members of the public that LSC/MAL officers are serving themselves with donated food items, but assured the public that his team is doing its best to provide food relief to those in great need in a timely manner.

Support delivery of food items, water and fresh food will continue in the coming days until the lockdown is lifted.

Co-led by Ministries of Agriculture and Fisheries, the Committee (LSC) is working closely with Honiara City Council (HCC) on the food delivery mechanism to ensure food relief assistance is delivered to those families within the Honiara Emergency Zone who may be in dire need of food supply during the four days lockdown from 6pm Tuesday 25th to 6:00pm Saturday 29th 2022.

The LSC acknowledged the assistance provided by donor partners, business houses in Honiara, Market Vendor Association and individuals who have step in with food assistance and logistic support over the past days to compliment the Committee’s preparation for the lockdown.

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