Tagolyn Kabekabe, the Anglican Alliance’s Facilitator for the Pacific, spoke yesterday about the disaster. She said, “It has been a very difficult week. We had no warning that the floods were going to come and no one was prepared.
“We don’t yet know what the full cost will be. Families are now regrouping to identify who might be missing – we expect the death toll to rise.
“Homes and infrastructure are severely damaged – one of the main bridges has been washed away and it is difficult to access all parts of the Island.
“Our Disaster Committee will convene to decide how to respond and support the communities that have been affected. We are very grateful to have already heard from Anglican churches and agencies across the Pacific and internationally, who want to support the Anglican Church of Melanesia (ACOM) in their relief response.”
The latest report from the Anglican Church of Melanesia, which was written by Alliance board member George Kiriau, highlights the devastating effects of the floods.
George Kiriau said, “It was an experience that those who lost loved ones and properties will not forget.”
“The government authorities are struggling to restore or rebuild the infrastructures so that business and services can return to normalcy. Concern was expressed regarding water and sanitation at the evacuation centres.
“The worst hit was the Koa valley community which was located along the Mataniko River. The community was a squatter community and in a flood prone area. Many of those who died came from this community though other areas were affected.”
Current estimates from the UN are that 52,000 people have been affected and 10,000 are in evacuation centres. Read the UN OCHA situtation report here.
Anglican Board of Mission have launched the Solomon Islands Flood Response which will help provide emergency relief to displaced families and individuals.
Anglican Overseas Aid are asking for donations to their Rapid Response Emergency Fund in order to respond quickly to the disaster.
The Anglican Missions Board of the Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia has launched an emergency appeal.
Episcopal Relief & Development are also responding to the emergency and supporting ACOM’s Disaster Committee.
And Melanesian Mission UK have pledged an initial grant to support the church’s response.
Janice Proud, the Anglican Alliance Relief Manager, is in touch with the church in the Solomon Islands and the churches and agencies involved, to help coordinate the relief response.
Further information and reports can be seen on our Act Now! page.
In the picture: Flooding in Koa valley washed away settlements.