18 Jun 2003

Hundreds of homeless being care for in Solomons' capital

3:59 pm on 18 June 2003

The Solomon Islands Red Cross says a total of 357 people are now being housed in temporary shelters in Honiara after fleeing the Guadalcanal Weather Coast.

A thousand people are reported to be homeless after rebel leader, Harold Keke, extended his grasp over the areas under his control on the Weather coast.

The Secretary General of the local Red Cross, Agnes Wale, says her organisation cannot get access to the Weather coast, so is unable to assess what the people there need.

But she says many are expected to follow earlier groups which escaped Keke by walking across the island to Honiara.

Ms Wale says so far more than one hundred families have come to the capital where they are being cared for by the Red Cross, the provincial government and the national disaster council.

"they have been given an area outside of Honiara and we have provided family kits containing utensils, blankets, as well as seeds, plus temporary shelter, and they are now being housed in those temporary shelters."