13 Feb 2006

Malaita premier fears slow central government response to islanders facing starvation

5:21 pm on 13 February 2006

The premier of Malaita in Solomon Islands says his administration cannot respond properly to food crises in time while central authorities are3 slow to act.

Robin Moli has confirmed that about a thousand people are facing food shortages in Luaniua and up to six hundred in Sikaiana.

Premier Moli says because shipping to the two islands is infrequent, they haven't been able to send anyone to the atolls yet to assess the problem.

He says the normal procedure is for the provincial disaster committee to send assessments to the National Disaster Management Office, which he says has taken too long in the past.

"We don't know how long it will take if we do assessment on these two islands and send it across. It will take ages. It's not only those two atolls. people around the main island also have the same problem and we're just filing reports the National Disaster Council."

Robin Moli says recent reports they have sent to the government regarding food shortages in other parts of Malaita have met with no response.