HONIARA and parts of Guadalcanal are now disaster zones.
Minister responsible for natural disasters, Bradley Tovosia, made the declaration on Saturday after devastating floods hit Honiara and the Guadalcanal plains, Thursday.
The decision will allow the national government and other humanitarian organisations to mobilise their relief efforts in these disaster areas.
The scale and magnitude of the disaster has been overwhelming.
Thousands of people were affected. They lost their homes, valuables, and loved ones.
Those on the Guadalcanal plains lost homes and food gardens.
Several businesses too were affected.
Up to 16 evacuation centres were set up in Honiara, with up to 8,000 people now taking shelter in these centres.
These are people who will need urgent relief assistance such as food and clothes.
Many will be looking to the government and humanitarians organisations for such help.
That is expected.
Already, Australia and New Zealand, our two biggest and closest neighbours, have announced initial assistance.
Australia has pledged SBD$330,000 while New Zealand stepped in with NZ$300,000.
Other international humanitarian organisations say they are in standby mode, ready to assist.
We can be assured that we are not alone in this. Our friends and neighbours will be there for us.
While this may be so, ordinary Solomon Islanders must take the initiative to assist our country men who were affected by this disaster.
We also knew many people lost everything except the clothes they wear, when the waters came.
A donating of clothes, spoons, plates, and cooking pots, bush knives would go a long way towards their rehabilitation.
Like we did during previous disasters, it’s time we show our comradeship.
It’s time we show our love and compassion for each other.
It’s time to show that we are Solomon Islanders.
But it’s the national government that must take the lead in all these.
Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo said on Saturday, cabinet will be convened soon to discuss and authorise government funding for the disaster.
Let’s home this cabinet meeting will be held this weekend so that relief efforts could start.