By MALUM NALU
All major shops and tucker shops in Daru, Western province, have run out of rice, sugar and other basic necessities because the regular cargo ship has not arrived from Port Moresby.
This was confirmed by several residents of Daru today (Monday).
Daru resident Kevin Korei said that the island town been experiencing food shortage since last week when the cargo boat failed to arrive as scheduled.
|Major Daru supermarket New Century, which is out of basic food supplies.-Picture by MALUM NALU|
“Currently there’s hardly any food,” he said,
“All shop shelves are empty.
“Since the beginning of last week, we have been experiencing shortage of food like rice, flour, sugar, tinned fish and other basic necessities.”
Korei said he had talked to the ship’s agent, May Fuel Distributors, and was told that it was busy with LNG duties in the Gulf province.
He said he had been told by the agent that the ship would arrive next week,
Black market prices of basic store goods have skyrocketed.
“Right now we’re paying K20 for a 1kg bag of rice which would normally cost K3 or K4,” Korei said.
“Bundles of sago, which normally sell for K10-K15, have now gone up to K70.
“The situation is such that people go out to sea and buy from villagers bringing their food to market in Daru, rather than wait at the market.
“Some people are sending their money to Kiunga and Balimo to buy rice, sugar and basic food stuff.”
Neither the shipping company, agent, nor major shops in Daru could be reached for comment today because of the public holiday.