TENS of thousands of people in and around Honiara have been left homeless by the recent flash flooding and heavy rains in the Solomon Islands.
Entire communities have been swept away, major access bridges have collapsed and roads have been destroyed with areas of the city isolated by the destruction. While the rain is finally easing, the true impact of this disaster continues to unfold.
Around 14,000 people and 14 communities have been affected by the flooding in Honiara, with 12,000 people seeking refuge in 16 evacuation centres set up around the region. The death toll is currently at 18 and 30 people are reported as missing, with numbers expected to rise.
Another 37,000 have been affected by the flooding in larger Guadalcanal province.
Oxfam’s Solomon Islands’ Country Director Katie Greenwood said the aid organisation is currently providing support to the Red Cross to manage the evacuation centres, which have been inundated with people.
“Around twenty per cent of Honiara’s population are now in the evacuation centres, with 3,500 in just one centre alone,” Ms Greenwood said.
“We are facing enormous numbers here. The centres have been inundated with people who have lost their homes and their communities. Oxfam is urgently working with the Red Cross to coordinate the NGOs in the region so the needs of the people can be met.
Oxfam is also providing technical support and assistance, and remains on standby to help the National Disaster Management Office conduct disaster assessments of the region.
“Oxfam has trained staff on the ground with technical expertise in humanitarian responses such as this. We have relief items ready for distribution, and we are working to identify how we can support life saving efforts in the next stage of the government’s response to this disaster.”
People wanting to donate to Oxfam’s International Crisis Fund can go to http://www.oxfam.org.au/international-crisis-fund
Source: OXFAM Australia