11 Apr 2014

The latest from the Solomons' flood zone

10:48 am on 11 April 2014

The Solomon Islands Red Cross says it has requested help to boost its capacity to purify water for people in evacuation centres.

The Deputy Secretary General says it has two existing units and a third one arrived in Honiara yesterday but another two are due soon.

Clement Manuri says so far the Red Cross has provided over 45 thousand litres of clean water to people left without a stable supply.

He says each unit can process up to five thousand litres per hour.

"We are requesting another two; one from Fiji Red Cross and the other one from French Red Cross that was based in New Caledonia. So those are the same Nomad water purification units that we have been using, since we have seen that there will be a lot of need to purify water so that it can be safe for drinking."

Clement Manuri says transporting the water from the units to centres is a challenge as the roads are damaged and busy and the number of tankers is limited.


The head of the National Disaster Council in Solomon Islands has thanked governments, agencies and individuals who have help the nation get through a week filled with destruction and tragedy.

Dr Melchior Mataki says he's especially grateful to the people of Solomon Islands for their strength and resilience as they help and support one another.

He says he understands there are many people still in need of assistance and he wants to assure them it's the government's priority to do all it can to reach them.

Dr Mataki says he wants the families of victims to know how sorry he is for their loss and that the nation's deepest thoughts are with them.

He says the National Disaster Council urges its partners to continue working together so the country can be restored to normalcy as soon as possible.


Women's advocacy groups in Solomon Islands say there are 30 pregnant women in five evacuation centers and they warn women's rights need to be protected during the current disaster.

The head of the Ministry of Women, Ethel Sigimanu, says disasters, whether natural or man-made, pose a major security threat to women and many are now totally dependent on the state to provide for their needs.

She says the current situation is placing a huge demand on women's roles, making them even more vulnerable.

She says women's organisations have been at the forefront of response efforts using their networks to support communities in evacuation centres and supporting people who are now homeless.


Prince William and his wife Catherine have sent condolences to the people of Solomon Islands following the floods.

In a message today to the Governor General, Sir Frank Kabui, the royal couple expressed sympathy to the families of those killed in the floods.

The couple visited Solomon Islands in 2012 and say they recall the warm welcome they received and that they will continuing thinking of the country at this difficult time.