April Valley settlers appeal to govt for support
FOUR years on since the 2014 April flash flood some of the victims now settling in April Valley, East Honiara are still living in make shift-tents with very little help forthcoming from authorities.
Because of that settlers claimed they are being forgotten by the government despite promise to build them two bedroom homes.
And they are calling on the government to help them with their relocation scheme.
A spokesperson for the settlers Jay Samani on Monday said since their relocation, the government has never done any project to help them rehabilitate and sustain their lives.
“The government promises to build 2 bedroom houses.
“But for four years, we still leave in the tents provided by non-government organisations (NGO) and other agencies,” Mr Samani said.
He claimed that government is leaving them behind.
“We are now seen as the forgotten community when it comes to development.
“We are struggling daily by ourselves to fend our families and cannot say more when the government is not providing any project or such scheme,” Samani said.
The more than 300 relocated settlers yesterday commemorated the 21 lives which were lost during the April 3rd 2014 flash flood.
Homes and residents living close to the Mataniko riverbank were badly hit by the flood.
As part of the ceremony a thanks-giving Eucharist was held at their St John the Baptist Anglican Church.
Parish Rector Fr Brian Mani officiated in the ceremony.
Speaking during the remembrance ceremony, chairman of the April 3rd 2014 flash flood relocated settlers Charles Ketea said the day marked a sad day in their lives.
“As you all know, on this very day we lost 21 souls in the flood.
“So we remember them in our prayers,” Mr Ketea said.
He then went on to commend those who supported them during their peril days.
“We thank the donors and government for supporting us.
“We thank them for the relocation land and the donors who provided us basic life saving necessities,” Mr Ketea said.
He also thanked East Honiara MP Hon. Douglas Ete for his support towards their community to mark the day.
“He gave us $2000 which our community sees as a heartfelt donation.
“Though he is not our constituency rep but he hears our cries and stepped in to help us,” Mr Ketea expressed.
Mr Samani said they have invited some guests to be part of the remembrance ceremony but the rain disturbed the arrangement.
“We expect some guests today (yesterday) but the morning downpour must have irked them.
“But we have one guest who make it, former councilor Simon Savusi,” Mr Samani said.
The program commenced at 8:30 with thanks-giving Eucharist and followed by light refreshments.
Most of the victims were former settlers at Koa Hill and those living close to the Mataniko river bank.
As part of government’s effort to support them, government had offered them a land just behind the Lau Valley area where they are now settling on.
Government in its long term plan intends to develop the area by ensuring the area has access to road, water, electricity and other basic services.
By TEDDY KAFO