28 Jun 2017

Solomons' flood victims still living in makeshift housing

10:19 am on 28 June 2017

Victims of Solomon Islands' worst flood disaster three years ago are still living in makeshift housing, without safe drinking water or electricity.

April Valley relocated flood victims community.

April Valley relocated flood victims community. Photo: RNZ/ Koroi Hawkins

Twenty-one people from the Kwa Valley community died in April 2014 when the Mataniko River burst its banks.

Hundreds of people had to be relocated to the eastern foothills of the capital, Honiara but three years on they are still living in ramshackle housing.

Some are still making do under the original tarpaulins, most now tattered and torn, which they received as part of emergency relief supplies immediately after the flood.

The tight-knit April Valley Community, as they now call themselves, are grateful for the land given to them by the government, but the community's chairman Michael Fa'abona said promises of better housing, water and electricity hadn't eventuated and it had been a struggle to rebuild their lives.

Shallow ground wells, the only source of water for the April Valley community.

Shallow ground wells, the only source of water for the April Valley community. Photo: RNZ/ Koroi Hawkins

He said one of the biggest problems was the lack of clean drinking water which had made some of the children really sick.

"We just dug well water from the ground. It is not that clean but because we could not find anywhere else to get water we just use it. We cook with it, bathe and wash with it and drink it."

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