The Department of Biosecurity conducted a first of its kind training for its staff in Luganville with kava exporters in Luganville over three days conducted by a local consultant and former Principal Biosecurity Officer Francis Qarani.
Director of Biosecurity Vanuatu, Timothy Tumukon, told Kizzy Kalsakau of the 96 BuzzFM's Vanuatu Nightly News, the training was aimed at upgrading the skills level of the staff to be on par with other parts of the world and to understand why they do certain jobs.
Before that, staff have been receiving adhoc sort of training and on-the-job training. But they have not received any systematic information on how and why they should be conducting activities and this training was aimed at improving their skills and to help them to understand why they are performing certain tasks, Tumukon added.
"They had 11 officers at the training, but every now and again they would have two to three officers leave to attend to jobs needing to be done such as clearing ships and also treating containers for kava to be exported," he said.
"Specific areas targeted in the training were border concerns - how they conduct their duties at the wharf such as with clearance of ships, how to handle containers that have landed and the airports, how they handle passengers and how they screen them and the day-to-day activities such as treating containers and treating items that are for exporting, basically all areas that Biosecurity is mandated to look after."
The training also reinforces to the staff the authority they have which they can exercise whenever they come across any irregularities or any issues that need to be dealt with. It is also part of the strategy of support for the country’s growing kava export industry.
This same training will be conducted for the staff in Port Vila next week.