Leaders of Shortland Islands in the Western Province have encouraged landowning tribes in the area to support the frontline workers in view of the ongoing covid-19 operations at the border region.

Chairman of the FAMOA Working Committee, Chief Pellion Buare – (on behalf of the Chairman of the FAMOA Council Chiefs, Chief Lawrence Hotomo) and Honourable Member of Parliament for Shortland Islands Constituency Mr Christopher Laore made the call in a joint statement issued on Tuesday this week.

“We wish to call on all the people of Fauro, Mono and Alu to take every necessary precautionary measures to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 from across the Border from Bougainville,” the leaders said.

Bougainville have so far recorded one positive COVID-19 case and authorities at the border have increased measures to prevent any potential transmission from border crossers.

Western, Choiseul and Malaita Outer Islands borders have already been declared as emergency zones with a total ban on traditional border crossings to and from Bougainville.

The leaders said the people of Shortland’s now carry the responsibility along with front-line health workers, Doctors and Nurses and members of Royal Solomon Island Police Force, immigration officers, custom officers and other SIG officers to stand together in the name of the country, Solomon Island in the fight against COVID-19.

“As such, we need to avail ourselves, our sea and land resources should we or they be needed for security or health operations for the safety of our people and country”.

“We have every reason to work together, for our fight now is against one common enemy, COVID-19. Let us not leave any stone unturned in offering ourselves and our resources for security and health operations to prevent us being haunted by years of regret for not doing the right thing,” the statement said.

The leaders expressed gratitude to the people of Mono, land owner representatives of Nusave Island, Oema Island, Tuluve Island and Ovau Island who have pledged to allow their Islands in the spirit of mutual understanding should they be needed for security and health operations.

“Let us all set aside our differences and work towards a better future, free of COVID-19”.

“We note that there is a planned trip to Shortlands by Deputy Commissioner of Police Operations, Juanita Matanga to discuss the possible use of our Islands as forward observation posts for RSIPF officers at the Border,” the statement added.

The Famoa Working Committee, on behalf of Famoa Council of Chiefs and office of the Honourable member of Parliament for Shortland Islands Constituency, Honourable Minister of Home Affairs, Honorable Christopher Laore along with Solomon Island Government will work together to ensure that appropriate support in other areas of interest is accorded to all the people of Fauro, Mono and Alu.

“Let us not be weary or complacent of our duty to serve one another and serve our country, Solomon Islands from COVID-19 as our first line of defense. Long Live Solomon Islands,” the statement said.

Source: FOMOA Press Release