THE state-owned Waimapuru National Secondary School in West Bauro of Makira, Makira Ulawa Province will likely face food shortages as African snails are infesting its food crops and vegetables.
The school’s chief cook Margaret Suzie said in Kira Kira, the provincial capital that the African snails are also feeding on the school’s fruit trees like pawpaws, lemons, and bananas.
She said the school’s teachers, students, and other administrative staff depend on meals of kumara, cassava, and other root crops and vegetables they grow in their gardens.
Ms. Suzie said she has reported the problem to the agriculture department of the Makira Ulawa Provincial Government in Kira Kira which had confirmed to her that the Biosecurity and Quarantine Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock in Honiara is aware of it.
But Ms. Suzie said the department had also told her that although the head office is aware of the African snail problem at Waimapuru School, it has yet to respond to the request to send Biosecurity officers to deal with the situation.
She said if the African snails are not destroyed soon, they could also damage the soil which could put Waimapuru school in a precarious situation as its students, teachers, and administrative staff depend on what they grow for food.
Ms. Suzie added their meals are supplemented with rice which is paid for by the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development in Honiara.
By George Atkin
In Kira Kira