20 Jul 2015

Solomons food struggle expected to last months

8:28 am on 20 July 2015

The National Disaster Management Office in Solomon Islands says it will be a struggle for many to find food over the next few months, after heavy rain ruined crops.

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Photo: RNZI Koroi Hawkins

Tropical Cyclone Raquel and a subsequent tropical disturbance swept through the country at the start of the month, with about 10 thousand people affected across seven of the nine provinces.

The director of the National Disaster Management Office, Loti Yates, says interim reports strongly indicate that the food and agriculture sector is most affected, and food relief is a must.

He says 85 to 90 percent of people are subsistence farmers that only grow enough to feed their families.

"So when we have events like this, potato garden, or kasava garden is washed away or inundated by water, it means that these people will be having difficulties finding food for the next three months, because it takes up to three months for the new plants to start to bear fruit, mature and people can eat them."

Loti Yates says the NDMO is asking the government to fund the distribution of rice to those in need.