Malaita provincial premier Peter Chanel Ramohia has called on the responsible authorities to resume franchise shipping service to the Malaita Outer Island of Sikaiana.
Premier Ramohia made the call following reports, the lack of shipping service to Sikaiana for more than three months is putting the health and livelihood of the atoll residents at risk.
Honiara-based Sikainana Community leader, Robert Sisilo told SIBC News yesterday, the lack of ships to Sikaiana in the past almost four months has put immense pressure on people’s health and nutrition.
Latest reports reaching SIBC News today confirms, a child has died due to health complications and a luck of available medical supplies.
Premier Ramohia described the situation as “very sad”, saying this now needs both the provincial and national governments’ attention as the provincial member for Sikaiana is very sick.
“It’s very sad for such a situation to occur on the island which is remotely located and I think it now needs both the provincial and national governments’ attention. The Hon. Member for the island’s situation is also very unfortunate as he’s actually waiting for his trip anytime from now, maybe this week or next week depending on his visa to go for medical operations at the St. Vincent Hospital and his situation was critical since last year, meaning he wouldn’t do much.”
Meanwhile, the Malaita Premier calls on the Ministry of Infrastructure Development to quickly resume franchise shipping services to Sikaiana.
“I think the right thing or way forward for this is for MID or the Ministry of Infrastructure Development who is responsible for the franchise shipping scheme to ensure arrangements are quickly made for a ship to travel to Sikaiana and that’s what I want to call on the Ministry to do that because they are the ones responsible for the franchise shipping arrangement. I think the fact that they are not doing it resulted in this unfortunate situation instead of detecting and addressing it in the first place.”