5 Jan 2013

Solomons govt to assist with replanting crops on cyclone-damaged islands

10:55 am on 5 January 2013

The Solomon Islands National Disaster Management Office says the government has pledged to assist with the replanting of cash crops wiped out by flooding from Cyclone Freda.

An aerial assessment has found widespread flood damage on the island of Makira to cocoa and coconut crops from the storm which passed through some of the country's southern islands earlier this week.

A spokesperson, Sipuru Rove, says although the cyclone also affected the provinces of Malaita, Guadalcanal and Rennell and Bellona, damage is most severe to crops near Makira's main rivers.

"From what we've had so far, definitely that assistance as to rehabilitate the cash crops like cocoa and coconut definitely will be required but the details will come up later and we will know how many hectares we need to replant."

Sipuru Rove says a boat carrying relief supplies and will leave for Makira's capital Kirakira today.

He says a detailed assessment of the cyclone's impact should take about two weeks.