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People called for food 3 days before lockdown, food was for delivery only during lockdown

Honiara was under lockdown and only ended 36 hrs this morning.

The Livelihood Committee reveals that it had to deal with countless calls of people asking for food as early as Thursday— nearly three days before the 36-hour lockdown started on Sunday 6pm and ending this morning.

The government through the Livelihood Committee which is headed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock announced on Thursday during a press conference that they would be giving out minimal amount of food during the lockdown to Honiara residents as part of their exercise. During that conference, they also gave a number to journalists to pass on to the public. However, since the number was made public, people had started calling it as early as Thursday and asking for food.


However, limited food was only delivered to a few only in the later hours of the lockdown.

Director of the Livelihood Committee, Michael Ho’ota said since Thursday they were inundated with phone calls of people asking for food to be delivered to them.

Speaking to journalists today Ho’ota said they had delivered food to certain people in the city during the lockdown but could not give any actual figures as they have yet to finalise their data.

He said the data should be available soon.

Ho’ota reiterated the key function of his team during the lockdown was to ensure that Honiara residents had safe food available for them.

He said they used their own officers and members of the Honiara Vendors Association to go into the field and facilitated mobile market of fresh food and fish – mostly in east and central Honiara.

Ho’ota added that they facilitated the movement of mobile markets through some suburban areas of Honiara.

“Then towards the end of yesterday we tried out some food relief runs in the three zones of Honiara (east, central and west of Honiara),” he stated.

 “This is gives us insight on what is happening and is likely to happen if we do food relief during lockdown.

“We received calls, we analyzed them then assessed the information. Got information on the households as to how many people were in one house before we responded with the food,” he said.

Ho’ota admitted that there were challenges with delivering of food citing location of the households as one but that would be part of the lessons they learnt from the exercise.

He said the exercise had helped them to improve in the event of a lockdown.

“Yes we are happy with the outcome and managed to see how we could improve on some of the areas,” he said.

On complaints that food helpline telephone didn’t work, Ho’ota explained the number they passed to the public initially which was 28116 was converted to toll-free 113 to allow people to call free. He said this maybe the problem. However, he said they had received a lot of calls on the toll free number.

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