Prolonged heavy rainfall associated with a tropical depression passing over the Solomon Islands on 3 April 2014 resulted in severe flooding in the capital, Honiara, and associated damage in Guadalcanal, Makira, Malaita and Isabel provinces. River systems across the northwest, central and north of the island flooded, destroying homes, damaging bridges, blocking roads, and displacing families. A total of 21 people are confirmed dead, 25 missing and an estimated 52,000 people affected across the Solomon Islands (population 515,870), around half of which are children.
Solomon Islands Red Cross Society (SIRCS) worked with IFRC and Partner National Societies (PNS) in order to provide potable water and relief supplies to the affected people. SIRCS also worked with government agencies and international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) before, during and after the floods to coordinate preparedness activities, gauge the extent of damage, and coordinate response and recovery activities.
Three days after the floodwaters hit, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) advanced CHF 158,099 from its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to kick-start flood relief operations in Honiara and Guadalcanal Province. The principal activities to date have consisted of water purification and distribution to those sheltered in evacuation centres in Honiara and to affected communities in Guadalcanal Province. Additionally, these funds allowed for essential household and emergency shelter items to be distributed to those affected by the disaster. This appeal is being launched to extend and amplify the reach of these two life-saving interventions, as well as, to build the capacity of SIRCS to respond to both this and future disasters.
As the full extent of the situation became clear, a two-person Field Assessment and Coordination Team (FACT; team leader and communications delegate) was deployed to support the operations and to assist SIRCS in developing the programmes outlined in the EPoA. Additionally, two Regional Disaster Response Team (RDRT) members from Fiji Red Cross were deployed to provide needed surge support to SIRCS in the days following the floods. In line with IFRC’s role as Shelter cluster convenor, a shelter cluster coordinator was deployed by IFRC. (See Shelter section). The deployment of the FACT team leader was funded by Australian Red Cross. New Zealand Red Cross funded the deployment of the communications delegate.
American Red Cross provided surge support to FACT in terms of mapping and information management.
On behalf of SIRCS, IFRC would like to thank Australian Red Cross/Australian government, New Zealand Red Cross/New Zealand government, and French Red Cross for their contributions to the response efforts.