Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands: Tsunami and Earthquake Appeal No. MDRSB001 Operations Update no. 07

Attachments

GLIDE n=B0 TS-2007-000042-SLB
Period covered by this Ops Update: 18 January to 31 March 2008
Appeal target: CHF 1,691,977 (USD 1.4 million or EUR 1.04 million);
Appeal coverage: 104%

Appeal history:

- This Emergency Appeal was initially launched on a preliminary basis on 3 April 2007 for CHF 1,118,250 (USD 819,673 or EUR 615,385) for four months to assist 5,000 people.

- Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF): CHF 65,000 was initially allocated from the Federation's DREF to support the national society to respond.

- A Revised Emergency Appeal was launched on 18 April 2007 for CHF 1,691,977 (USD 1,405,645 or EUR 1,035,011) for nine months to assist 9,000 people

- Operations Update no. 6 further revised the plan of action and budget to include water and sanitation, in light of funds available and information gathered during field operations.

- In line with Federation reporting standards, the final report (narrative and financial) will be made available 90 days after the end of the operation.

Summary:

In 2007, the Solomon Islands Red Cross Society (SIRCS), with the support of the International Federation and Red Cross Red Crescent partners, successfully conducted relief distribution activities, with over 37,000 items distributed to more than 1,800 families. Further to this, shelter works have now been completed, including the distribution of over 8,700 tools and 5,500 kilos of nails to 2,546 affected families in 327 communities. In addition, milling operations have been conducted in 82 clusters of communities. In line with the government's development of a rehabilitation strategy for permanent housing, the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement has assisted in detailed assessment of damage over the entire disaster area.

In January 2008, the SIRCS and International Federation started the second phase of the relief operation which covers water rehabilitation on the islands of Vella La Vella and Kolombangara, with a total of 20 communities selected approximately 1,000 households (6,264 people). The works involve repairs on the existing gravity flow systems and construction of rain-catchments in the most affected communities, up to the end of June 2008.

A final report will be issued at the end of September 2008, three months after the completion of the operations.

The situation

On 2 April 2007 at approximately 07:40 local time, an earthquake measuring 8.1 on the Richter scale struck the Western and Choiseul provinces of the Solomon Islands off the coast of Gizo, 350 kilometres north-west of the

capital Honiara, causing a localized tsunami. The combined effect of the earthquake and tsunami resulted in significant damage and loss of life. According to the National Disaster Council (NDC), affected areas included Shortlands, Munda, Noro, Vella la Vella and Kolombangara Islands, with the worst hit being Gizo and Simbo islands, the western coast of Ranonga and the central southern coast of Choiseul Island. The death toll was in excess of 50 people, with an estimated 9,000 people displaced. However, while no accurate figures of those still displaced are currently available, it is estimated that up to 3,000 people continue to occupy temporary shelter.

On 5 May 2007, the Solomon Islands minister of home affairs revoked the order made on 3 April 2007 declaring certain areas in the western and Choiseul provinces to be in a state of disaster. Since the announcement, many stakeholders have scaled down their activities.

During the second half of 2007, the SIRCS with support from the International Federation, worked on a shelter programme. This first relief phase has been successfully implemented and at present SIRCS has commenced a water rehabilitation phase focussing on Vella La Vella and Kolombangara Islands. These activities are supported by an International Federation water and sanitation delegate who arrived in mid-January 2008. It is anticipated that water and sanitation works will be completed by the end of June 2008, with operations conducted primarily from the Federation and SIRCS offices in Gizo. In addition, two delegates from Australian Red Cross have been temporally deployed in short missions to support in administration and field activities. A French Red Cross water and sanitation consultant was deployed on 5 April, and will remain in support of activities until the end of June.