Thousands Return Home After Wild Weather

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MOST of the about 100,000 people across Solomon Islands affected by wet and windy weather last week have returned home or are being sheltered by other family members.

The director of the National Disaster Management Office, Loti Yates, said part of an Auki community which was particularly exposed to the bad weather, spent time in shelters but had now returned home, armed with temporary shelter kits from the Red Cross.

However Mr Yates said food and health remained key concerns.

He said many families had lost food gardens and while they would be able to cope for several weeks, the issue for his agency was getting food aid to them in the second and third month, while new crops grow.

“Key food crops here are cassava, potato, taro, yam and these crops take up to three months before you can harvest them.

“Now that being the case where we can provide relief is at the one month/ two month period, at least to tide them over while they get themselves back to normalcy,” Mr Yates said.

“But we are also very worried about the secondary impacts of too much water around, and that’s in the health area.”

Mr Yates said the NDMO was working with provincial authorities across the country to determine the level of need in the wake of the storms.

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Lynda Wate
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