24 Oct 2013

Solomon Islands Red Cross frustrated over temporary housing

5:30 pm on 24 October 2013

The Solomon Islands Red Cross says it is frustrating that Temotu province residents are still without permanent housing, following February's tsunami.

At least 10 people were killed and thousands displaced after a Magnitude-8 earth quake generated waves that smashed through seaside villages of the province, destroying homes and infrastructure.

The group's community disaster risk manager, Cameron Vudi, says he understands the government is still working on a shelter strategy.

Mr Vudi says life is starting to return to normal in the province but many people are still living in temporary housing. He spoke to Amelia Langford.

CAMERON VUDI: I think the quicker they could move into permanent housing would be really good. It would help facilitate these people getting back to something as normal as possible for them so that they can start basically living their lives again. But they are okay with it. These people and people from the organisations that have been working with them are extremely resilient, and I think they're doing much more okay now.

AMELIA LANGFORD: So they're in good spirits?

CV: Yeah, most are in good spirits and I think they're really appreciative of what we've been giving them. And now I think the main thing is to see how quickly the government could come up with the strategy and how best this could be implemented with the people affected.

AL: Yes, because if the tsunami happened in February, the government has been quite slow to act, do you think?

CV: It's a bit slow and it's quite frustrating, especially for us, when we are working with these people and trying to get these communities back to normal. But for me, personally, the government really needs to look at this and work on something that could get these people back on their feet.

AL: Especially if cyclone season is coming up.

CV: For us, yeah, I think one of our concerns is that, also. And we have an office up in Lata and I think they've shared that concern, also, as they know that every cyclone season there's a few cyclones that always pass over the Solomon Islands. We'll have to see how we can plan with these people and do something about this.

Cameron Vudi says the Red Cross has distributed a range of items to locals including solar lamps.