16 Apr 2007

Solomons' leader to seek international help with rehabilitating disaster victims

7:30 pm on 16 April 2007

The Solomon Islands prime minister, Manasseh Sogavare, says his government will ask overseas aid donors for assistance to rehabilitate thousands left homeless by the earthquake and tsunami that struck the country's north-west.

Mr Sogavare is currently on a weeklong tour of the devastated region, and is promising his government will actively work to help the victims recover from the disaster.

He says his government would talk to aid donors about a long-term rehabilitation program after receiving a report from assessment personnel in the region.

Mr Sogavare says the government would also consider resettling villagers from small low-lying islands and coastal areas prone to natural disasters.

He says right now a lot of small low-lying islands are basically sitting in the dark waiting for trouble to happen.

The prime minister says the country's national disaster preparedness plan would also be reviewed in the wake of the disaster.

A team from the Asian Development Bank is in the Solomons at the government's request to study the impact on the national economy of the destruction caused by the tsunami.