Storm delays food aid to FSM's Weipat High School | Pacific Beat

Storm delays food aid to FSM's Weipat High School

Storm delays food aid to FSM's Weipat High School

Updated 28 November 2012, 18:37 AEST

A tropical storm in the Federated States of Micronesia is interfering with plans to get supplies to a school on a remote island where the food has run out.

Staff and more than 270 boarders at the Weipat High School have been relying on the local community to feed them for nearly a week now.

The head of the FSM's Department of Education, Gardenia Aisek, told Stephanie Juleff they have supplies ready to be sent once the storm passes.

But she questions why the school ran out of food in the first place.

Presenter: Stephanie Juleff

Speaker: The head of the FSM's Department of Education, Gardenia Aisek

AISEK: Well, first of all, I am surprised why the school is having shortage of food, because the Department of Education had sent out enough food to last them up to December 31st. and in August, the Department of Education sent out 189 bags of rice, 50 lbs, 118 cases of luncheon meat, 118 cases of spam ,141 cases of mixed fruit, five cases of onion, three cases of garlic powder, seven cases of soya sauce, six cases of salt, 141 cases of ramen, 58 cases of sugar, six cases of tea and two cases of cooking oil, that was in August. Now in September, another shipment went out. Fifty bags of rice, 50lbs.

JULEFF: So it sounds like basically you've really sent a lot of supplies to them?

AISEK: Yes. Now, the first shipment that went out in August was intended to last them up to December 31st. So I am kind of surprised when I read in an article, that the school is having problems with food.

JULEFF: What sort of contact have they made with you regarding getting resupplied and discussing why they've run out of these supplies?

AISEK: Well, the principal of the school had sent us messages, myself and the Chief of Secondary. The Chief of Secondary had been trying to get things out, but because we had some difficulty with our budget, we couldn't, the transportation, we have to charter transportation and so we couldn't do that right away.

JULEFF: Despite the fact that they have had a lot of supplies and it would seem that they should have lasted until the end of December. If it is the fact that they are in fact running out food, and they need extra supplies. How is that going to happen? Is it going to be more difficult as a result of the storm and what plans are in place to get something to those students if they do in fact need it?

AISEK: Well, I think and I want to go back to you know I'm really surprised, because the food that we have allocated to other schools, we are now giving those foods to Weipat High School and so there are schools that are experiencing the same difficulty, but they're able to take care of that situation at those schools. So I'm kind of wondering what happened out there. What happened at that one school. That school received a lot of food supplies. Some of the schools didn't receive supplies and yet, they're managing.

JULEFF: So there are obviously questions about the management of the food and that's something that I imagine will need to be looked into, but in the current exact situation, are there plans by the government to step in and maybe offer some assistance in this particular situation?

AISEK: Yes, we've already have plan. There are some leftover rice at the warehouse and we will send those out, but the delay right now is the ship we have to get the contract processed for the ship to go. It's a privately-owned ship, vessel and so we have to get the contract. The contract has been approved, but with the storm situation I don't know if that's going to happen.

JULEFF: So it's basically once this storm blows over, you'll be able to confirm when the food can be sent to the school?

AISEK: Yes, yes. It will be ready. We're prepared for that. We will take care of that.

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