11 Apr 2007

Solomon Island communities may need basic food supplies for the next three months

3:27 pm on 11 April 2007

Communities in outlying areas of Solomon Islands' Western Province are likely to need basic food supplies for the next three months following the earthquake and tsunami.

Claire Beck from World Vision in Gizo, says they've been to the outer islands of Simbo and Ranongga where supplies of rice, fresh water and water purification units have now been delivered.

She says most families in the province's remote areas have now had basic supplies dropped off by police boats or helicopter.

Ms Beck says three communities on Simbo are in camps after being severely affected by the disaster but some do have access to food gardens.

"The communities still have their gardens on Simbo whereas in Ranongga, there were a lot of landslides so a lot of peoples' gardens have been destroyed. Most communities are too frightened to go to the sea yet because they're frightened of another tsunami or earthquake so they're not going out fishing."

Ms Beck says there has been one confirmed case of malaria and a number of dysentery cases in the camps but apparently no more than normal for this time of year.

The World Bank says it will assist with infrastructure development in Solomon Islands after last week's tsunami.

A World Bank spokesperson, Susan Spencer, says its team will arrive today to assess the reconstruction and rehabilitation needs of the area.

Ms Spencer, says it is planning to help re-develop the infrastructure and hopes to know more about people's needs by the end of the month.

We are trying to make a fairly quick assessment, because obviously the situation is urgent. We are hoping by the end of April an assessment and a decision will be made by then.

Susan Spencer says the World Bank has not assigned a budget yet.