THE nonstop downpour in Malaita Province since Christmas, coupled with the two tropical cyclones is severely affecting food crops in Malaita.
Everywhere in communities, it is the same complain.
“Food gardens and root crops are yielding nothing and or rotting,” people told the Solomon Star in Auki.
Many people spoken to in Auki said families are starving and are now resorting to Kakake (swamp taro).
“It is very difficult to have three meals in a day at the moment.”
As a result of the low crop output situation, rice is the only substitute for those who can afford to buy a sack of rice.
“Because of the dependency on rice, the price of rice has increased recently.”
The Solomon Star in Auki found that a sack of 20kg which used to cost around $170 has increased to $190 – $200.
“This is even creating more difficulty for families.
“With the current poor condition of roads, people are not able to transport anything to Auki to sell.
“This situation is urgent. It’s crippling people in the rural areas.
“Some families with members working and living in Honiara are depending on those in Honiara to support them.”
People are urging responsible authorities to deal with the problem in any way possible.
“One way is to repair roads so that people can participate in economic activities so that they are economically sustained.
“For Now, the North road, Fulisango road, South road, are all in very poor conditions forcing vehicle owners to decide not to provide services to those areas.”
People also called on Auki shop owners to genuinely put reasonable mark-up prices on rice sacks and not to be driven by demand.
BY WILLIAM EKOTANI