5 Apr 2007

Premier in Solomons disaster zone says need for additional toilets increasingly urgent

2:08 pm on 5 April 2007

The premier of Western Province in Solomon Islands, Alex Lokopio, says there is an increasingly urgent need for sanitation facilities for the people displaced by Monday's earthquake and tsunami.

On Monday and tuesday nights many hundreds of people had gone to the high ground for fear of another tsunami but the premier says the national disaster council has now directed that they stay away from the coast for the time being.

He says this is posing additional problems because people had been using the sea for toileting.

"But because there is a restriction there that we are not allowed to be on the coastal area people are living up on the hills. This might not be very helpful in coming days unless we set up all the toilets and things like that to help the people."

Mr Lokopio says the New Zealand defence force personnel who arrived in Gizo yesterday have built toilets but many more are needed.