Solomon Islands

Sanitation still a concern in tsunami-hit Solomons

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Thirty days after a remote region of Solomon Islands was hit by an earthquake and tsunami, permanent housing and sanitation still pose a challenge.

The National Disaster Management Office in Honiara says over USD $25 million have been raised by government, international donors and local communities.

The magnitude 8.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck on February 6 claimed 10 lives and displaced over 4500 people.

Chairman of the National Disaster Council, Frank Wickham, told Radio Australia's Asia Pacific from Honiara that affected communities in Temotu province have been resilient.

"The communities have resorted to their food gardens, most of which are above the area of the tsunami and were not directly affected," he said.

"We also have food supplies there, to keep them going, to supplement their own local food supplies."

Mr Wickham said the water supply to the main township had been restored, and water was being carted to camps that were established for people who lost their homes.

The area is currently experiencing high rainfall, and Mr Wickham said the Council was trying to increase water catchment.

"Very high rainfall is making life a bit more difficult and uncomfortable for the communities in camps," he said.

"We're trying now to move into the phase we've just re-established a humanitarian action plan for the next 60 days with the development partners and the government ministries and NGOs."

Mr Wickham said the Ministry of Health together with the Solomon Islands Red Cross and other partners were monitoring health and sanitation closely.

But he said the wider community response in the Solomon Islands had been "overwhelming" since the disaster.

"There are a range of support initiatives being carried here in the capital Honiara, and also in other parts of the country, to support the Temotu people, on Santa Cruz and it's been quite overwhelming."

Audio: Frank Wickham speaks to Asia Pacific (ABC News)

Australian Broadcasting Corporation