Solomon Islands

Official statement from Solomon Islands National Disaster Council Chair Dr. Melchoir Mataki: Together we can move on from the Solomon Islands floods

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The National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) encourages those who can to return to their homes, and concentrate on rebuilding their homes and livelihood.

The NDMO and partners are working hard to provide flood victims in evacuation centres from affected areas of Guadalcanal with food rations, necessary non-food items, and fast-growing vegetable seeds.

We understand most people who worst affected by the floods are the ones feeding the city of Honiara.

These are subsistence farmers living in the outskirts of Honiara, who work the land to feed their families and generate some income by selling their produce to market. Many also farm small livestock, such as chickens and pigs.

We therefore encourage those who can to move into small-scale farming to support their livelihood. To help people resume a decent life, we need to make sure they, and their livestock, continue to be sufficiently fed.

For those who can, it’s time to start planting and rebuilding immediately. The ration provided is intended to feed you and your family in the short term while you wait for these crops to grow.

We understand some people will not return to their previous location, and so it is very important we find out where they are going so we can help however we can.

The NDMO and partners are continuing to assess the needs of those whose homes and livelihoods have been either damaged or lost completely, and is providing the appropriate assistance.

Our number one priority of course is still to provide emergency relief and assistance where it’s needed, but we also understand that relief alone is not enough when the homes and livelihoods of thousands have been affected.

The evacuation centres rose to the occasion and provided immediate response by accommodating those in danger of the floods, but we have major concerns about so many people remaining in these centres.

Most of these centres are classrooms and halls without proper facilities for sanitation, cooking, and sleeping.

More importantly, many lack a sufficient water supply, which has very serious health implications. We have already expressed our concern at the enormous risk of a disease outbreak in these camps because of the lack of clean water and proper sanitation.

We have received very generous donations from our partners and individuals, for which we are extremely grateful, but we will struggle to continue providing meals to 9000-plus people in this way.

We extend our sincerest thanks to those who have provided us with their donations and assistance during this time of crisis.

To those who wish to donate: Please contact the NDMO and tell us what you are donating and to who. This way we will be able to make the distribution as fair as possible. We will also be able to direct you to drop-off points around Honiara.

Thank you to all for your kindness and generosity, and for working together with us to repair the Solomon Islands.

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For media enquiries:
George Baragamu
NDMO Operations Manager
chiefopsndc@ndmo.gov.sb
+677 27936 or +677 27937