OPPOSITION Leader Hon Matthew Wale says where is the shipping vessel promised by the Prime Minister and the Oversight Committee to travel to Ontong Java.
In a statement today, Hon Wale said it is well over 3 weeks now since the Prime Minister and the Oversight Committee said they would be sending a ship to Ontong Java.
The Opposition Leader said on January 18th 2022, the Prime Minister said the government would be deploying 31 people comprising of 20 health personnel, 6 NDMO staff and 5 police officers.
According to the Prime Minister’s address, the team was supposed to depart on 19th January on Solomon Prestige 2.
The Solomon Prestige 2 is a makeshift fishing vessel owned by JQY.
“Its almost a month now since the Prime Minister promised an emergency team to travel to Ontong Java. It is sad that my office has received reports from Ontong Java that the people are still waiting for the ship to arrive,” he said.
Hon Wale said although he understands that crews of Solomon Prestige 2 were tested positive on the day of departure, it should not be an excuse to delay travel to Ontong Java.
“There are other vessels that can travel instead of Prestige 2. Or is Prestige 2 the only vessel that can travel to Ontong Java and that is why the government must wait for their crew to quarantine and test negative before it travels? It is surprising to note that whilst the Prime Minister and the oversight committee continue to refer to Ontong Java as the source of infections, very little attention has been given to them and their situation. Even to date, there is no data available from the government on the extent of infections on the islands, hospitalizations, number of cases or even deaths,” Hon Wale said.
The Opposition Leader said one would have thought that more attention, priority and effort should also be on Ontong Java as the claimed source of infections.
“Government inactions and failed promises to people of Ontong Java is pure negligence and they should stop giving false hopes to our people in the Malaita Outer Islands,” he said.