Tuesday, 3 February 2009 12:23 PM

SIFF Calls for Release of School Facilities

The Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) says it is still waiting on Customs Office to release school facilities from the Federation International Football Association (FIFA) to help tsunami victims.

SIFF General Secretary, Eddie Ngava, revealed that the SIFF had applied for funding to help tsunami victims which was approved in 2007.

"The FIFA has sent over school facilities purposely to go towards the rebuilding of schools in tsunami affected areas both in Choiseul and Western provinces."

It was revealed that the school facilities amounts to USD$100,000.

Solomon Times was told that "the hold up is at the Customs office".

"The facilities have been sitting at the wharf area for three months and has not been released from Customs," Mr. Ngava said.

He said that the delay has prompted SIFF on going through the National Disaster Council in order for Customs to release the facilities.

"I should make clear that the funding through school facilities was not sent for the SIFF but an approved application to help those who have been affected by the tsunami," Mr. Ngava added.

He said there should not be any delay and wants "immediate release of the cargo" that will help towards needs of tsunami victims.

But the blame turns around in a phone call to the Customs Office in Honiara.

"Yes the cargoes are with us because of few papers works that have not been done according to the procedure of release," a Customs officer, Sarah Wickham, told Solomon Times.

She said that Customs had contacted SIFF heads on the matter "so we have done our part and I'm not sure what the delay is in having them to come fix paper works to release the cargoes".

Ms. Wickham said that the cargoes which contain balls and other school facilities arrived safely in the country and "have been lying here for about three months now".