By IAN M. KAUKUI
THE number of people affected by the current bad weather is expected to rise as more reports are being relayed to the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO).
That’s according to NDMO’s third situational report released last night.
So far, 23,708 people were reportedly affected, but the figure is likely to go up when new reports are analysed, the NDMO report said.
NDMO director Loti Yates at the weekend said the nation now needs humanitarian aid to support those affected.
Victims lost homes and food garden due to flash floods brought on by the continuing heavy rain.
The flash flooding has also contaminated drinking water.
Mr Yates said food supplies and health and sanitation packs were needed as the risk of water and mosquito borne diseases was rising.
He said eighty percent of those affected are subsistence farmers living in rural areas.
“But the flooding will also affect people living in Honiara,” he said.
"The Guadalcanal plains are the food basket of Honiara," the director added.
As of last night, NDMO said the six people missing at sea in Makira-Ulawa and Western provinces are yet to be found.
Three deaths, all linked to the bad weather, were each reported in Isabel, Western, and Guadalcanal.
The bad weather, according to the Weather office, remained current for the country.
NDMO said in its report that the national government has been briefed on the situation on 2 January and is prepared to avail resources for humanitarian purposes.
“Primarily, the bad weather has caused destructions and damages to the livelihood and infrastructure sectors at large, specifically on food gardens, dwelling houses and road access.
“Secondary impacts concerns are on health, WASH and the economic sector given that flooding often increase health risks such as diarrhoea, red-eye and malaria and reduction in food supplies which can inflate the prices of goods at local markets especially in Honiara where the Guadalcanal Plains is one of the major contributors to food basket of Honiara residents,” the report said.
Provinces mostly affected are Guadalcanal, Malaita, Western, Central, Isabel, and Makira-Ulawa.
Full assessment teams are expected to be deployed to affected areas as soon as the weather permits.