Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah

KUCHING: A total of 444,329 households in all 82 constituencies throughout Sarawak will benefit from the State Food Aid worth RM16.4 million.

Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah stated that as of 6am yesterday morning, the District Disaster Committee or Service Centre of all 82 constituencies (100 percent) have ordered the food essentials.

Of the total constituencies, 67 of them have started delivery of food supply.

“Apart from that, six constituencies comprising 2,868 households will require helicopter services for the delivery.

“They are Telang Usan with 1,131 households, Mulu (828), Batu Danau (156), Batang Ai (355), Murum (194) and Meluan (204),” she said in a statement issued yesterday.

She further said that there is new request for the helicopter service in Baleh constituency involving 250 households in Long Singut, Long Unai, Long Busang and Sang Anau.

“The Kapit Resident will submit all the details required to the Secretariat soon,” she continued.

Fatimah also said that the delivery of food supply by helicopter service will start today (yesterday) from Miri and will be witnessed by the Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

She added: “The green light, protocol, standard operating procedure (SOP) with regards to the helicopter service was finally settled yesterday. Two helicopters from Royal Malaysian Air Force (TUDM) and Hornbill Skyways Sdn Bhd coordinated by Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM) will oversee the whole operation.”

She also described the whole operation as “mind-boggling” as safety is of paramount consideration as well as the pick-up point, drop-off point (latitude and longitude coordinates), helicopter landing pad, weightage of the food essentials, disinfection process, fuel and refuelling for trips made and weather conditions.

“According to the ATM, with the two helicopters, the transportation of food supply can be completed in four to five days,” she said.

On March 29, Abang Johari announced the Food State Aid which aimed to ensure that ‘there is food on the table’ especially for those that are worst hit by the movement control order (MCO) implemented to contain the spread of Covid-19 pandemic.

The aid is handled by the Food Supply Chain Committee which is headed by the Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan.

The committee members are currently working from home now due to Home Quarantine Order by the State Health Department after one of those present in its initial meeting was tested positive for Covid-19.