19 Aug 2004

Reports of hunger on Solomons' Malaita island

2:32 pm on 19 August 2004

Reports from Solomon Islands say up to five thousand people in the eastern Malaita are facing hunger because bad weather has affected their root crops and disrupted gardening.

The Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation says while many people were living on little root crops they could find from their gardens, it is the children who are mostly affected.

It says many children either do not go to school or do not perform well at school because they are either hungry or unable to eat a decent meal before going to school.

And the radio reports that rice, which has been a supplement diet for many people, had become too expensive to afford.

Leaders of the affected areas are reportedly planning to lodge formal request to Malaita provincial authorities for assistance.