Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Daru stores out of food

People of Daru, Western province, continued to be without store goods yesterday (Monday) as the monthly Steamships Shipping vessel failed to arrive from Port Moresby with fresh supplies, The National reports.
All major shops in Daru have run out of rice, sugar and other basic necessities because the regular cargo ship has not arrived from Port Moresby.
The town has been experiencing food shortage since last week when the cargo boat failed to arrive as scheduled.
Steamships Shipping management was not available for comment yesterday, however, a shipping source in Daru told The National yesterday that a Steamships barge came in once a month.
“Steamships are saying that they will send a relief vessel on Wednesday (today) so we should have supplies by the weekend,” the source said.
“Barges, such as the Agutoi Chief, come in once a month and unload about 30 containers.
“The containers have to be unstuffed.
“Boats spend at least two days here and that costs them a lot.
“There’s also the problem of the wharf trestle.
“Once the wharf is upgraded, they’ll start sending bigger vessels, like the Kikori Chief.”
The source said such was the seriousness of the problem that people were travelling as far as Saibai Island on the Australian side of the border to buy food supplies.
Daru will have a brand-new K10 million wharf trestle in August this year, following the launching of the project on June 1 by PNG Sustainable Development Program (PNGSDP), effectively giving the green lights to contractor Curtain Brothers to start work.

The existing Daru wharf trestle. Once rehabilitated, ships should have no problem loading and unloading at Daru.-Nationalpic by MALUM NALU
“The existing Daru wharf was condemned two years ago as the trestle had deteriorated to an extent that it was unsafe to use,” said PNGSDP chief executive officer David Sode.
“This affected movement of cargoes in and out of Daru significantly, with the flow-on effect on businesses, costs and reliability of coastal shipping.”

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