21 Jan 2003

Calls in Solomons to rehabilitate cyclone stricken islands

11:47 am on 21 January 2003

Disaster officials in Solomon Islands want an urgent assessment of how cyclone battered Tikopia and Anuta can re-establish its agriculture.

The acting Chairperson of the Disaster Management Council, Ethel Sigamanu, says they are considering recommendations from the team which visited both islands soon after the storms of December 28th.

Ms Sigamanu says the most immediate need is for officials from the Agriculture and Fisheries Division to assess the storm's impact and to lay the ground work for a full recovery plan.

She says food remains a major concern with Tikopia possibly not able to provide for itself for up to two years, while Anuta, which suffered less damage, may not be able to grow food for six months.

"what used to be suitable ground for gardening has been salinated because the waves and the sea really got inland and so the agriculture assessment is vitally important at the moment so that they can recommend what crops might be suitable or how planting can be done to ensure that life goes back to normalcy"