17 Apr 2014

Swift restoration of Solomons' flood damaged land vital - NGO

7:25 pm on 17 April 2014

The New Zealand based non-government organisation, TEAR Fund, says it is vital farmers in rural Guadalcanal in Solomon Islands get immediate help to start regrowing their crops.

The TEAR Fund's chief executive, Ian McInnes, says in the west and east of the island there are hundreds of communities that need assistance following the flooding which claimed at least 21 lives and left thousands homeless.

He says the crops have either been stripped away or covered in silt and this has sparked an escalation in the price of staples by up to 400 percent.

"Really it is imperative that they replant, that they remove the silt from that land, replant and get crops and vegetables back up and running again. They can have things in market as early as 6 weeks from now but it will be 3 to 4 months or even 6 months before other some staple crops are back up to capacity again."

TEAR Fund's Ian McInnes says they are planning to bring in tractors to help remove the silt which is up to 30 centimetres thick.