BY BEN BILUA
PROVINCIAL Secretary of the Western Province is calling on the Oversight Committee and the national government not to throw risks to the Province.
Jeffrey Wickham made the comment in response to the Government’s proposal for international ships to do clearance at the Noro International Seaport.
Speaking to the media yesterday, Mr Wickham said the Noro International Seaport is not ready to do clearance due to lack of facilities and resources, especially when it comes to COVID-19 standard procedures.
“We have submitted our recommendations in October last year to better prepare Noro International Seaport for this type of situation but the government ignored our recommendations.
“Now the government through the oversight committee wants to force their way in to do what they want at Noro, this is not the right procedure. A right minded person can see the risk that not having proper setup will pose huge risks to people,” he said.
Island Sun Gizo sights eight (8) recommendations that the Western Provincial Disaster Operation Committee (PDOC) sent to the government after their meeting with stakeholders at Noro last year.
Recommendations are as follows;
1. A jetty must be ejected within or close to Noro Seaport for the swab team.
2. A prefabricated building must be built for swabbing and POE teams. The building must accommodate shower and toilets, changing room, briefing room, PPE storage room, Waste PPE area, decontamination area and must be fenced.
3. There is a need for a 15 seater van to transport the swab teams to holding sites or quarantine.
4. A 60hp and boat for swabbing team transport to ships and also transporting samples to Gizo Hospital.
5. A small incinerator to burn PPES and swabbing wastes at Noro.
6. Budget for the swab operation.
7. A one-ton pickup truck for waste management at quarantine site and swab team holding site
8. Freezer to store samples at Noro.
According to Wickham none of the above recommendations were made available since his team submitted the document.
He said there is no way that ship clearance will go ahead at Noro unless the recommendations are met or made available.
“Western Province will stick to its plan for the safety of its people. We will not allow ship clearance to be done at Noro. Full stop! Wickham says.