During the recent DDA board meeting last month at Kabakada ward, Gazelle DDA Board chairman and Gazelle MP, Jelta Wong, instructed his deputy, Livuan-Reimber LLG President Sam Piniau, to take charge of meetings, if need be, because his position as Health Minister will require him to be in Port Moresby, attending to national issues.
In a special meeting on Monday, the board approved the funding that will be allocated under the District Support Grant and will be shared equally; K50,000 each for the five LLGs – Central Gazelle, Inland Baining, Lassul Baining, Livuan Reimber and Toma Vunadidir.
Piniau said the people need to be properly informed to avoid panic and for them to take ownership of this issue for their welfare.
The Deputy Chairman told the meeting that the greatest weapon against COVID-19 is a well informed and educated community, especially health messages.
“These are the messages that must be promoted by all our five LLGs and all Ward Members in our communities to prepare ourselves,” Piniau said.
Community awareness is being conducted in the communities. It is an ongoing program in educating people about the virus. This will continue to ensure the communities are well versed with the disease which remains a major concern in ENB.
The board also endorsed the setup of the district isolation centre at the main junction opposite the district headquarters along the NARI road. The site is considered an ideal spot since it is close to Kerevat Rural Hospital where the centre can also access water supply from.
Piniau said now that there are two confirmed COVID-19 cases in East New Britain, the call to establish an isolation centre is paramount.
The five LLGs were commended for already identifying possible sites to establish their respective isolation centres. Hence the board endorsed the isolation centres for each LLG and approved the preparation of district health facilities to accommodate COVID-19 cases.
Meantime, the meeting had the opportunity to hear and learn of the social impact of the lockdown that has greatly affected the daily social activities of the people.
Law and order issues are on the rise and cannot be contained due to lack of police presence and the absence of basic services previously enjoyed by the communities.
“The over indulgence of homebrew and other illicit substances in our communities must be discouraged at all costs, particularly at this time,” Piniau said.
The Gazelle DDA Board is recommending that the State of Emergency must strategize on ways to review funding to address all the issues due to lock down.
Piniau also urged the people in Gazelle Electorate to cooperate with the provincial SoE coordinators to comply with orders to assist the province in containment strategies.