Solomon Islands

UNICEF Situation Report Solomon Islands - External 19 Jul 2007

Situation Report
Originally published
Further Damage

Recent landslides have caused damage to villages and injuries to a number of people on the Islands of Ranongga and Vella la Vella. UNICEF has been supporting the affected people through the Provincial Secretary and NGOs to distribute blankets, bed sheets and tarps to affected areas. A geological survey will be undertaken to assess risk of further damage to these areas.

Needs Assessment

The Emergency Education Assessment report has been released by the Ministry and is currently being distributed widely. The report confirms the number of children whose schooling has been significantly disrupted as 18,258 (89 per cent of those assessed). It also reports that 56 per cent of students in the affected areas (11,578) will not have permanent schools until full or partial rehabilitation takes place. In addition 44 per cent of education staff housing has suffered complete destruction or major damage.

The MHMS initial infrastructure assessment of all clinics in affected areas is finalized and provides an overview of infrastructure damage caused to the Primary Health Care system and related costs of rehabilitation. RWSS has completed assessments on Rendova, Simbo and Ranonga Islands and reports will be available soon. Assessments for Vona Vona lagoon are pending. The ADB infrastructure assessment focused on such features as roads, wharfs and bridges is expected shortly.

UNICEF Response


UNICEF supplies for water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) are expected to arrive this week and will allow work in nine more villages.

UNICEF and Rural Water Supply and Sanitation (RWSS) are working to build VIP (ventilated improved pit) latrines in Rendova at a rate of 10 latrines per week. One latrine will be built for every 20 families. An estimated 150 latrines are needed in IDP's camps.

Insufficient rain water catchments in water tanks have been noted and will be an issue to be resolved over the coming weeks.

Water testing has been done this week for Ranongga Island. A small contamination has been discovered (less than 30 total coliforms). Next week samples from Simbo will be analyzed. To date UNICEF and Gizo hospital has processed 76 water tests from Gizo and surrounding areas. Seventy per cent of water sample analyzed are below 50 TT coliforms for 100 ml of water, in accordance with SPHERE standards.

UNICEF and Public Works Department are still working on rehabilitation of the Gizo Hospital water supply and sewage outlet.

Two WATSAN assistants joined UNICEF Gizo from Monday the 9th of July to make work supervision and monitoring easier and timelier.

A soap distribution plan has been developed. Additional soap supplies will be distributed as soon as they arrive.


Lack of permanent shelter, including both public (for government staff) and private housing, remains a significant issue in affected areas. A Shelter Strategy for private housing, submitted to Cabinet on Sunday, 24 June, was returned to the Department of Home Affairs for further consultation.

Partners in Gizo are working together to look at long-term strategies to solve housing issues and there has been some criticism of the proposed Shelter Strategy and inaction on public housing. The shelter assessment is also considered inadequate for any future planning purposes. The NGOs in Gizo have prepared and submitted a proposal to UN agencies and the government for funding for a more in-depth assessment of shelter damage through photographic documentation. UNDP is taking the lead in discussing the proposal with government.

Health and Nutrition

UNICEF is advocating with the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) to develop a comprehensive plan for the re-establishment of primary health care services in Western and Choiseul provinces. UNICEF support will include EPI, health promotion, nutrition, medical outreach, disease surveillance and infrastructure as per below.

UNICEF is supporting the MHMS in improving Expanded Programme on Immunisation, EPI, coverage in areas not covered by the post-tsunami measles and routine catch-up campaign. The goal is to have 90per cent routine coverage across Western and Choiseul Provinces.

UNICEF is assisting the MHMS with strengthening the disease surveillance system in Western and Choiseul Province. The system will build on the current outpatient register data collection protocols and focus on diseases relevant to post-tsunami disaster situations as a result of overcrowding and poor sanitation. This will allow early response and control of outbreaks. UNICEF will sponsor and participate in workshops on this early warning system as well as EPI and cold chain management for both provinces.

UNICEF has supplied the MHMS with micronutrients for antennal and postnatal women in affected areas for the next 6 months. These will be distributed through health centres during antenatal assessments and postnatal visits.

The first phase of the UNICEF supported Health Promotion Campaign with the MHMS was completed on the 8th of June. Planning with the MHMS and other partners is underway for the next phase of health promotion activities based on the findings of a survey completed over the last month (results to be available over the next two weeks). The new focus is likely to be on nutrition, including breast feeding, hygiene and safe sex.

UNICEF is also supporting the rehabilitation of damaged clinics on all affected islands in Western and Choiseul provinces. This includes essential equipment and supplies to assist the facilities once rebuilt to function optimally.

Supported by SCA and UNICEF, youth volunteers are also continuing to deliver community-based life skills activities with young people in the IDP camps. After six weeks of their work, SCA, UNICEF and Ministry of Health have conducted joint field visits to monitor their activities on the ground. Information based on this will be available in due course.

Asbestos clean-up started 10 June 2007 based on a WHO assessment plan. This will include asbestos clean-up on islands in Western Province and on Choiseul Province. This process is scheduled for completion by the end of August 2007. UNICEF has produced communication materials (radio spots, posters and leaflets) for children and parents on the dangers of asbestos. Radio spots are currently being aired and distribution of material will happen later this week. The asbestos posters have been delivered to the NGOs, World Vision, Oxfam and Save the Children and the government departments for distribution to the camps.

A total of 161 radio sets have been handed over to the NGOs: World Vision, Oxfam and Save the Children for distribution among women leaders in IDP camps. One radio set per 8-10 families has been given out primarily for islanders to listen to health promotion messages supported by UNICEF and the MHMS.


The pilot monitoring plan for the distribution of initial supplies has been completed in 13 schools and play safe areas (temporary learning centers) on the islands of Ghizo, Kolombangara, Simbo, Rendova, Kohigo and Parara Western Province. A monitoring plan has been developed for Choiseul Island and will be carried out as soon as funding is disbursed. Monitoring and initial planning for secondary schools in Western Province is taking place this week in Gizo during a finance workshop. Information on the recovery process is also being conveyed at the workshop.

From the monitoring and from discussions between UNICEF and provincial education officials in both provinces, we have learned that a significant portion of schools have not resumed transitional or regular educational activities. It is now the intention of the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development (MEHRD) to have all schools return to some form of schooling at the end of the current holidays. The schools are scheduled to return from holiday on the 16 of July, although it is unknown if the proposed teacher's strike will affect the resumption of schools.

The MEHRD Education in Task Force for Education in Emergency Situations (TEES) last week went through an intensive 2-day workshop to produce the macro-planning for the 6-month Response and Recovery Action Plan (RAP) and Back to School Campaign. The campaign will encourage all students and teachers to return to schools and transitional schools.

Costings for replacement of capital costs in the Damage Assessment Summary have been produced as well as indicative costs for the 6-month response and recovery plan and Back to School Campaign. Recommendations for the TEES Project Team for the RAP and Back to School Campaign are finalized. The recommendations outline requirements for technical assistance and human resources for the 6-month plan and Back to School Campaign.

MEHRD and UNICEF have begun micro-planning for the Back to School Campaign in the Western Province. Communities where schools have been complexly destroyed (category one) have begun clearing space for the erection of temporary school tents. The national and provincial ministry offices are also in discussion about provision of school bags for the Back to School Campaign.

MEHRD and UNICEF have begun planning the distribution of the second wave of supplies to include additional recreation kits, school in the box and tarpaulins for temporary teacher shelter and temporary learning centers.

The provincial Education Authorities in Western Province will start a bi-monthly education coordination meeting in Gizo to include all education stakeholders.

Members of the MEHRD Task Force (TEES) have initiated the rapid development of an Education Response and Recovery Database.


A total of 94 Play safe areas have been set up and are active, reaching well over 6,500 affected children in Gizo, Simbo, Ranonga, Vella La Vella, Rendova, VonaVona, Kolombangara and Choiseul through partnerships with Save the Children, World Vision, and MEHRD.

Child protection training is scheduled for about 55 Save the Children staff and is currently being designed and organized. Training has also been conducted this week for a community outside Gizo who requested training and information on the CRC through their Community Welfare Volunteer and the Social Welfare Division. There are also plans forming for gender awareness training for various organizations in Gizo, but details have yet to be finalized. This will be done in conjunction with Save the Children, Oxfam, the Social Welfare Division, and UNIFEM.

The Social Welfare Division (SWD), with the support of UNICEF, have started monitoring how the Community Welfare Officers are implementing their community protection plans, as well as providing the opportunity for feedback from the CWV on how the role is being utilized and how it can be improved. A SWD officer has arrived in Gizo from Honiara and has begun the monitoring trips to the outer islands.

Supply and Logistics

The following supply items are being distributed to the affected populations:

Family tents 250 NDMO, PDC
Tarpaulins 1,431 PDC, World Vision
School-in-a-box kits 80 (and further 100 ordered) Ministry of Education
Recreation kits 94 (and further 100 arrived) Ministry of Education and
Save the Children
Water Bladders 6 RWSS
Emergency Health Kits 8 Ministry of Health
Oral Rehydration Salts 30,000 sachets Ministry of Health
Vitalita 90,000 sachets. Additional 300,000
sachets are on the way
Ministry of Health
Soap 6500 bars have been distributed, 600 more bars are in the distribution process, mainly through schools.25,000 bars has just been ordered for future distribution Ministry of Health
Collapsible water container (10L size) 4400 pieces. Additional 4000 pieces are
in distribution process
Wooden Educational Toys 1200 sets Ministry of Education and
Save the Children
Clinical Equipment 20 sets MHMS Pharmacy - to assist in
the rehabilitation of rural clinics
Tarpaulines (4x5 metres) 224 sheets MEHRD, to assist their staff's damage house (Western Province & Choiseul)
Tarpaulines, various sizes 999 sheets Ministry of Education
Micronutrients for Adults 1,800,000 tablets To be distributed through MHMS
Supply for Water network (Pipes, Valves, fittings, PVC fittings, PE fittings, rain catchment materials, tools, safety shoes, towering kit, nails,) Approx 3,400 items RWSS
Boats & 40HP Outboard Motor Engine (OBM) 4 fiberglass boats & 4 OBM Ministry of Health, MEHRD &
Social Welfare Division
Solar Windup radios 300 sets Social Welfare Division,
Camp Communities