by NZ CATHOLIC staff
HONIARA — The worst flooding in 28 years to hit Solomon Islands has
resulted in deaths and 15,000 people fleeing their homes.
Three days of heavy rains caused flash floods that washed
out roads and destroyed bridges in the capital, Honiara.
The official death toll stands at 23 confirmed deaths, but reports are emerging of people being washed out to sea.
Julianne Hickey, director of Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand, said
their New Zealand volunteers based near the flooded areas were safe
and in secure accommodation and working to assess the damage and
needs of affected communities.
Significant damage to water and sanitation infrastructure, homes
and food crops were expected in Honiara.
Mrs Hickey said there is no central sewerage system and septic tanks
were flooding, presenting a disease risk.
Access to food will also be an issue, as most people grow their own
Caritas’s partners, the archdiocese of Honiara and the Don Bosco Institute, are providing emergency shelter, food and water for people who have fled their homes, in church halls and classrooms.
Caritas made an initial pledge of NZ$10,000 to Solomon
Caritas Aotearoa New