20 Jan 2004

People returning to Guadalcanal's Weathercoast after settling in happily, says official

5:20 pm on 20 January 2004

Fifty-six Solomon Islands families, displaced by lawlessness on the Guadalcanal Weathercoast last May, and who returned home from Honiara last week, are reported to be settling back well.

The director of the National Disaster Management Office, Loti Yates, says the group of 254 is the last of the more than one-thousand who fled the region.

Mr Yates says there is some harrassment from former members of the Guadalcanal Liberation Front, who remained on the Weathercoast and who are not happy with the people returning.

But, he says, it is very minor and is easily controlled by the presence of RAMSI personnel who patrol the region.

He says the group is happy to get back home.

"Firstly thing will be to get shelters up, while the menfolk will be starting to clear the bush and start planting. Most of the food crops would be ready for harvesting at around three to four months and by then they will be fully sustaining themselves. In the meanwhile, whatever we supply from here, will complement what they can gather and harvest and hunt themselves."