“COVID-19 pandemic has affected our cash flow resulting on us those residing on the islands facing difficulty to get vegetables from the market as we only depend on that to access vegetables since vegetables like Saladia, Pak Choi and Tomato cannot grow better if we plant them here.”
A mother from Niu Island in Marau Sound, Guadalcanal Province Isabella Pukere told World Vision in a recent trip to their community.
Mrs Pukera said COVID-19 impact has doubled the issues they are facing every-day at their community.
“We the women from this island usually paddled across to another nearby islands to make gardens and also to sell our products at the market. This is not always easy because sometimes we experience rough seas even between our small islands,”
“And the COVID-19 has doubled the burden especially because we experiencing low cash flow in our communities where most times we just return with our products from the market,” She said.
She added, they have been silently fighting the impacts of climate change especially soil salinisation and erosion.
“Since our islands are closed to the main land Guadalcanal, people may not aware that we also experiencing climate change impacts, but indeed we are also experiencing them especially salty water under our soils resulting on vegetables cannot grow healthier or wilt,” she emphasised.
Mrs Pukara therefore thanked World Vision’s Australian Humanitarian Partnership (AHP) project that empowers them with knowledge and techniques to grow vegetable.
“I thanked World Vision for recognizing our needs especially by empowering us on knowing how to make better soil for vegetable,”
“Also, the seedling that the project has supported us with will indeed enable us to make use of the knowledge that we now have and also to ensure our families can easily accessing vegetables outside our homes,” Mrs Pukera said.
Benard Masioa also from Niu Island said the project’s impacts is for long-run.
“The project especially the knowledge that we gained from the training and the demonstration by the experts will indeed help us now and to the future, as we will always apply them to grow vegetable,”
“The seedling that the project also supported us with will help us grow vegetables to support our families especially during the COVID 19 pandemic,” Mr Masioa added.
World Vision Solomon Islands Australian Humanitarian Partnership Team is currently rolling out this COVID 19 Project in Guadalcanal, Temotu and Malaita Province to ensure communities are addressing the impacts of the pandemic.