SOLOMON Islands is facing a slow clean up and recovery following last week’s devastating floods.
The country’s worst floods on record have left at least 23 people dead and more than 50,000 people homeless.
Boats are continuing the search for the dozens of missing, combing the shoreline along Guadalcanal and heading out to sea looking for bodies.
New Zealand has sent an additional $1.2 million in aid on top of the $300,000 initially committed and other foreign governments are pitching in as well, but ONE News Pacific correspondent Barbara Dreaver says it’s not enough.
She told TVNZ’s Breakfast the situation in Honiara is “quite dire”, with diarrhoea spreading through evacuation camps and some cases of dengue fever cropping up.
Great gashes are carved into the landscape where the settlements used to be, she says, leaving no homes for the 12,000 people living in evacuation camps to return to.
It’s a long road ahead for the Solomons.
“Recovery is going to be just so slow,” Dreaver says.
“Infrastructure here is always shaky … and now it’s virtually non-existent in some areas.”
She says one there is just one one-lane bridge still operating in Honiara, and it’s the only thing connecting one half of the city to the other half and the airport.
Cars are battling to get across the bridge, which she says authorities are frantically trying to fortify. The 2km journey across currently takes four hours, Dreaver says.
An RNZAF C-130 aircraft has delivered relief supplies to the island, including tarpaulins, water containers, and medical supplies.
Disaster response specialists from New Zealand government agencies, non-government are in Honiara to help.