19 Dec 2008

Solomon Islands villagers facing severe food shortages following tidal surge

9:59 am on 19 December 2008

In Solomon Islands, villagers of Luaniua and Pelau in the Malaita outer islands are reportedly suffering from severe food shortage as a result of continuous tidal surge onto their land.

The paper, the Solomon Star says the Atolls of Ontong Java have been badly hit and people there are now running out of food.

Reports from the two affected villages say since Monday last week they have been experiencing rough seas that eventually turned into a tidal wave.

Chief Peter Kalali from the House of Chiefs of Luaniua and Pelau says villagers are starving because food crops such as taro and kakake, which was their staple, have been washed away by the waves.

Meanwhile, the Provincial Member for Luaniua ward, Wilson Sangahu, told the Solomon Star that attempts to talk to National Disaster Management Office and the Ministry of Home Affairs for relief assistance have fallen on deaf ears.

He says he is calling on the national and provincial government to take this into consideration and act swiftly because people are suffering.

A spokesman from the Disaster Office says its following up on the reports.