UnitingWorld Honiara Update
Church aid workers in Honiara are struggling to care for tens of thousands of Solomon Islanders in the wake of last week’s deadly flooding.
On Friday 4 April flash floods tore through the Solomon Islands’ capital of Honiara and the Guadalcanal Province after days of torrential rain, strong winds and rough seas.
At least 28 people have died as a result – most of them children.
Up to 50,000 people have been displaced from their homes in Honiara and Guadalcanal Province and are relying on international aid for food and shelter. The Solomons Islands’ capital now faces a long and costly reconstruction.
UnitingWorld’s Rev Dr Cliff Bird, Regional Coordinator – Pacific Programs, spoke to Brendan Trembath from ABC Radio’s AM program this morning from Honiara:
BRENDAN TREMBATH: Days of torrential rain took a heavy toll in the Solomon capital Honiara.
United Church Minister Cliff Bird says almost half of those killed in flash floods were children.
CLIFF BIRD: Quite a lot of people are still traumatised at the moment, because of the sudden impact of the loss of dearly loved members of the family and of the community.
BRENDAN TREMBATH: Dr Cliff Bird is the regional coordinator for the relief and development agency UnitingWorld. Cliff Bird says local church groups have been helping to provide meals to about 9000 people in camps, and he says more homeless people are staying with friends and families.
CLIFF BIRD: The first step is, you know, basic needs; food, shelter, water, clothes.
BRENDAN TREMBATH: He’s sad to say that food gardens on the plains have been washed away.
(ABC Radio AM program – Thursday 10 April 2014)
Rev Dr Cliff Bird is available in Honiara for interview and comment. Please contact Stephanie Dalton +61 2 8267 4232 to arrange an interview.
Please support UnitingWorld relief efforts in the Solomons by calling 1800 998 122 or via the www.unitingworld.org.au website.