Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands atoll desperate for supplies

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By Online Editor

10:25 am GMT+12, 21/08/2014, Solomon Islands

A former trade negotiator in Solomon Islands says the people of Sikaiana Atoll in the Malaita Province are desperate for food and medical supplies after five months without a shipping service.

Robert Sisilo says the situation is increasingly urgent and the population of 250 people are without a nurse or teachers.

He says food grown on the island has basically run out and people are pleading with authorities in Honiara to send a boat as quickly as possible.

“People are desperate and they are calling on the responsible government to at least charter a boat to go there with supplies and particularly medical. In fact our schools too because I think a couple of teachers came from the island on the last boat in April so basically the school also really requires the teachers to be back on island.”

Sisilo says the shipping contract, funded by the European Union and the Solomon Islands government, is up for tender after expiring in April and he hopes a new contract will be finalised soon.

Meanhile, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) says a US$15 million infrastructure project to help Solomon Islands recover from April's floods will focus on resilience to future disasters.

The ADB's Climate Change specialist, Hanna Uusimaa, says the total estimate for the rebuild of the Solomon Islands transport system is almost 35 million US dollars and there is still a significant financial gap facing the country.

She says the objective of the reconstruction is to reduce the ongoing negative impact on the economy by restoring the connectivity to essential services and main commercial centres.

“And also because the damaged assets are being rebuilt to a higher standard of climate and disaster resilience by building back better to avoid this level of damage from recurring in future.”

Uusimaa says the project is due to start in 2016 once feasibility studies are done.

SOURCE: RNZI/PACNEWS