K150m for disaster areas to be released

The first K150 million of the K450 million funding for the earthquake stricken areas will be released into a trust account today.

This was announced by the Emergency Controller Dr Bill Hamblin in a press conference yesterday afternoon, which was also attended by members of the committee including secretaries for works and finance, national disaster director and representatives from ExxonMobil and Oil Search.

The Emergency Controller said the monies will go towards the aid however, there will be specific requirements for funds to be utilised – including way of purchase orders.

He said in this way there is transparency and order in utilising of the funds for relief and humanitarian purposes.

Dr Hamblin also reiterated that the monies will go specifically towards the general aid programs and to assist in assessment and all necessary aid.

In debriefing of reports from the affected areas, the controller noted that K1 million has already been set aside for food and water, which has already been approved for dispatch any time this week, while K3 million will go towards medical supplies.

Due to lack of road accessibility into the affected areas, air aid is most needed at this time hence there are about five choppers now under the emergency restoration team.

(MAF picture showing locals welcoming food supplies that were donated by a private individual)

Imelda Wavik