Used boots from Australia ready for distribution to farmers

Constable Jo Mirkana, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi, Australia High Commissioner, Sara Moriarty during the presentation of used boots meant for local farmers

By Rula Su’a – Vaai

APIA, SAMOA – WEDNESDAY 13 FEBRUARY 2019: A container of 4,000 pairs of boots intended for Samoan farmers, may need a robust distribution system as already 1,000 pairs seem to be missing.

At receiving the container load, the Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi, firmly advised the Ministry of Agriculture that the list of farmers who will receive free pairs of boots donated from Australia be endorsed by Cabinet.

Tuilaepa was concerned that when the boots are not properly accounted for, he will be blamed although he has nothing to do with the boots’ distribution.

“In this case, all the list of farmers who are likely to receive boots be passed on Cabinet to assess before distribution to targeted farmers,” he said.

Tuilaepa was also concerned that some of the boots may end up in the hands of the employees as well.

“In my speech, it was written about 3,000 pairs of boots were in the container, but the lady who donated these boots said there were 4,000 pairs,” said Tuilaepa.

“So what happened to the 1,000 boots? I am sure I will be the one responsible for the missing 1,000 boots.”

Associate Minister of Agriculture, Faasootauloa Pati, Australia’s High Commissioner, Sara Moriarty, Constable Jo Mirkana and Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi, during the boots presentation

The used boots were collected by Senior Constable Jo Mirkana of the Springvale Police Station in Melbourne, from her colleagues in Australia and arranged for the shipment to Samoa.

Jo Mirkana is looking at organising another shipment of boots and agricultural materials for Samoa in the future.

She was inspired to collect the boots for use in Samoa, when she asked a Samoan man performing with the Sinalei String band what he thought might be needed in the village.

“I’d like safety boots to go and work at my plantation,” led to Constable Jo Mirkanas efforts.