Solomons tsunami victims still waiting
Nineteen-months on from the tsunami that hit Temotu province in Solomon Islands, victims are still living in temporary shelters and awaiting funds to help rebuild their permanent homes.
19 months on from the tsunami that hit Temotu province in Solomon Islands, victims are still living in temporary shelters and awaiting funds to help rebuild their permanent homes.
The disaster claimed at least 10 lives and displaced thousands in February 2013.
Indira Moala reports.
Alongside having no money to rebuild, many affected locals have difficulty accessing new land.
A director from the Ministry of Infrastructure Development, Patterson Fakavai, says landowners are trying to assist families by providing what they can.
PATTERSON FAKAVAI: Some of the victims, their land is sitting right on the hill where the villages are. They don't have another place to put their house on apart from the existing one. Some have acquired customary land but some people are the indigenous landowners. It's not trying to take land from indigenous people, we're just assisting those who are affected on the land that they own the best we can.
Mr Fakavai says the cost to rebuild is still a huge barrier.
PATTERSON FAKAVAI: The tsunami was a big one - moving away from their normal life to a new site and to a new life and way of living, I think that's one of the main costs. I think on the other hand the government is looking at that but you know, sourcing funding is also another issue.
A spokesperson from the UNDP in Solomon Islands says a proposal for the redevelopment project has been approved but cabinet is still to allocate the funding. Adi Galokepoto says that decision has now been delayed further by the pending election.
ADI GALOKEPOTO: We are looking at nearly twenty two million for the whole shelter programme for Temotu. We are looking at eight hundred and sixty four houses and those houses are in both Category 1- which are completely destroyed, and Category 2 - which are partially damaged. For those houses that are built on low-lying areas, especially those houses that have already been destroyed by the Tsunami, we had a communication with the community, we tried to advocate on behalf of the implementing ministry to ensure that they will do the relocation before they can construct their house.
Ms Galokepoto says a lack of expertise within the National Disaster Management Office, the NDMO, has delayed the recovery for tsunami victims in Temotu province.
ADI GALOKEPOTO: NDMO is solely responsible for response and at the same time for recovery but they don't have the recovery expertise. We've just established the recovery coordination committee with the Ministry of Planning and Coordination. And we used the Temotu experience as a life experience for us in which we trial out how best we can attend to the recovery.
Ms Galokepoto says the disaster has been a vital learning experience for the organisations involved in recovery in the country.
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