Western Province support SOE

The Governor for Western Province and its three MP’s have committed K5.5 million funding to support the State of Emergency COVID-19 lockdown operations in their province.

They made this announcement in a press conference yesterday afternoon.

The K5.5 million will be used by the Western SOE team to run Covid-19 awareness, support border surveillance by the joint police and military forces, establish quarantine and isolation facilities at the Kiunga and Daru hospitals and to maintain law and order issues in the province in the midst of the state of emergency.

With a landmass of 98 thousand square meters, the first strategy the Western province SOE team is doing is to make people aware.

Governor Taboi Awi Yoto said the province shares a common border with Australia and the republic of Indonesia and as such are fully aware of the threats of the virus finding its way into the country.

In supporting the Government’s plan for the extension of the SOE, Governor Yoto called on the government to seriously support the efforts of Western and Sandaun Provinces to completely lockdown every land and sea border in the two provinces.

“We have also tried to seal off the border especially those borders that we normally have trade between us and the Indonesians especially. Our borders at Bula, Weam, Suki, Boset, Manda, Yogi, Dome and up in the border between Sandaun and Western Province is called Tomolpin. So those places we’ve tried to seal off. We already have security forces, police and defence personnel there but that does not mean that the border is completely sealed off.”  No, the Governor reiterated.

He added that these are in places that they (the leaders) are aware of. The other places that people normally go to for hunting and other tracks that they have along the border are not able to seal off.

Currently, there are 91 military and joint security personnel on the ground to mend the borders. Governor Yoto says, what the province needs is more than 400 joint police and military forces deployed to the border, but that would depend on the logistics available.

From the K5.5 million, K1million was sourced from each local MP’s DSIP fund and K1.5 million from the Fly River Provincial Government Health Functional Grant.

Jemimah Sukbat