Solomon Islands floods situation report 2
Heavy rain between 29 January and 3 February 2009 caused floods and landslides in Solomon Islands particularly in Guadalcanal, Malaita, Makira, and the Central provinces. Many houses were damaged resulting to evacuation of people from villages to schools.
Damage to Infrastructure
Damages in roads and bridges hamper monitoring, access to health facilities and delivery of relief. Eight bridges were washed away and roads were flooded and damaged making some areas accessible only by sea. Food gardens around houses that people depend on were also destroyed. Rebuilding of livelihoods and infrastructure, particularly water systems, are ongoing.
Assessment reports showed increasing cases of diarrhea, eye infection and respiratory diseases. Current health priorities include clean water, rehabilitation of water facilities, prevention of disease, and food supply.
There are 10 confirmed deaths (6 adults and 4 children) as of 8 February. Eleven are still missing and one person has been injured.
Damage to Health Facilities
No developments as of last report.
Solomon National Disaster Management Office continues to coordinate with provincial officials for assessment, monitoring and overall response.
Government agencies and health partners provided essential needs including water supply, water purification tablets, water testing kits, and water containers. Noodles, sugar, biscuit, canned tuna, and rice were also distributed.
Countries, government units and private companies have responded through donations in various forms including funds, equipment, food, and non-food items.
Monitoring, surveillance of diseases and health promotion through radio broadcasts are ongoing. The Ministry of Health conducts daily coordination meetings with health stakeholders to plan health interventions.
The Malaria team will carry out activities including a survey through blood samples, distribution of treated bed nets, and house spraying. Floods damaged EPI equipment and currently cold chain needs are being secured. The MOH has identified populations with specific protection risks. They are post-natal and pregnant women, children below 5 years old, elderly, disabled people, sick individuals, and the displaced.
WHO has been in constant communication with the MOH and participates during the directors MOH meetings on health emergency updates.
The WHO Country Liaison Office has been involved in the following activities:
- Support for the fine-tuning and use of the early warning response surveillance system,
- Support for the socio-medical management and control of cases,
- Support in establishing effective linkages between the curative services, mental, obstetrics, EPI, health promotion and human resources units, and
- Support in reviewing the contents of health promotion messages.
WHO, through its country office, will continue to provide technical advice and support on health concerns including the prevention and detection of flood-related disease outbreaks.
Dr. William Adu-Krow
WHO Solomon Islands
Tel: +677 23406
Humanitarian Affairs Officer
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) - Pacific
Tel: (+679) 3319715
Fax: (+679) 3309762
For further information please contact:
Dr. Ken Chen
WHO South Pacific
Tel: (+679) 3300727
Fax: (+679) 3300462 and 3311530
WHO South Pacific
Tel: (+679) 3234100 and 3234102
Fax: (+679) 3234166
WHO Regional Office
Dr Arturo Pesigan
Tel: (632) 528 9810
Fax: (632) 528 9072