21 Sep 2011

Solomon slums fall into jurisdiction gap

5:07 pm on 21 September 2011

A Solomon Islands government official says many of Honiara's slums fall into a gap between urban and rural boundaries.

The comment follows a report from Amnesty International pointing to the lack of access to water and toilets as a contributing factor to the high rate of sexual violence against women in the capital's squatter settlements.

The report is based on interviews with women who've been raped or attacked while walking to get water or to the toilet.

Henry Pika, the permanent secretary for the ministry that oversees the provision of water, says it's working towards addressing the water problem.

"Unfortunately some of the squatters are outside of the town boundary so the ministry, who is responsible for SIWA, the Solomon Islands Water Authority, is not at the moment in a position to verify whether those launching the complaint are within the town boundary."

Henry Pika says a joint project with Japan aims to find more sources of clean water for Honiara residents.