Solomons schools still closed with flood victims staying
Despite working through the Easter weekend disaster authorities in Solomon Islands have failed to shift many flood victims from makeshift evacuation centres in the capital.
Despite working through the Easter weekend disaster authorities in Solomon Islands have failed to shift many flood victims from evacuation centres in the capital, Honiara.
The director of the National Disaster Management Office Loti Yates told Koroi Hawkins some people simply have nowhere to go.
LOTI YATES: We were hoping that by today we would have almost all the schools cleared out unfortunately we haven't been very successful in that area and so whilst we have people who have slowly agreed to move back to their homes we also have another lot who have no homes to go back to and that is the challenge we are faced with.
The delay in the repatriation effort means schools in the capital will remain closed for a third consecutive week since the floods, despite a notice issued by the Ministry of Education for classes to resume this week. The ministry's permanent secretary Franco Rodie says the situation is worrying.
FRANCO RODIE: I am expecting a big impact on students learning. So far they have missed three weeks of schooling and so there is a lot of catch up work to be done. But we will ensure that schools make for the time lost so that they will be able to teach the curriculum before the examinations set in.
But this may take longer than expected as Eddie Angooka, a resident of the Panatina evacuation centre in East Honiara says the repatriation process has not been properly explained and people think they will be forgotten once they return home.
EDDIE ANGOOKA: At the KGVI camp they brought some kits in a truck and they said, you can board the truck and go home now. So some of the victim opened the kits to have a look inside and what they saw just did not satisfy them so they gave them back and told the authorities we will not go, we will remain here and they are still there.
Meanwhile out in the flood affected communities non-government organisations are working to make sure villages are safer for flood victims to return to. World Vision Solomon Islands is one such NGO and its director Andrew Catford says safety for women and children is of particular concern.
ANDREW CATFORD:So we are working on some water supply and sanitation at the moment for those communities where people are returning to. Some child friendly spaces so that children have some places to sort of feel safe to have play and education and also some areas for women to access services and in particular hygiene items for women so there's quite a bit happening to help with that repatriation process.
But for those who lost everything in the floods repatriation is not an option and home is a place yet to be determined.
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