VILLAGES and communities in the far eastern part of the country are likely to experience food shortage in a week or so following the devastation caused by cyclone Pam last week.
Reports reaching the paper yesterday said, people of Reef Islands and other outer islands of the Temotu province are expected to run out of food following damages caused to their food gardens, root crops and food trees.
John Tego, an officer from the Temotu Provincial Disaster Office based in Lata yesterday said, Reef Islands and most of the islands in the province will be hit hard by food shortage in a fortnight.
Cyclone Pam has left trails of damages caused by strong wind and heavy rain in the eastern parts of the country.
It then moved to cause so heavy damages to neighbouring Vanuatu.
Mr Tego said, the provincial office was only able to get reports from Reef Islands following the cyclone.
“According to reports we received from Reefs islands over the weekend all food gardens and food trees were all blown away and destroyed by the heavy rain and strong wind.
“Most of the people only have very little food supply which will last them this week. In two weeks’ time they should run out of food because all their food gardens and food trees were damaged,” Mr Tego said.
The officer said, their office was unable to establish any communication links with the other islands of Temotu to find out about their status.
But he believes the other islands in the group are also severely affected.
Bad weather has hampered efforts to visit other islands in the province.
Mr Tego said, nothing much can be done at this stage until the weather improves.
“Once the weather improves an assessment team can be dispatched to reach the other islands.”
Meanwhile the Temotu provincial government is now working closely with the National National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) to conduct an urgent assessment of the aftermath of Cyclone Pam.
Cyclone Pam was believed to have caused damages to villages on Reef Islands, Tikopia and Anuta islands.
Temotu Premier, Baddley Soakifono in an interview with the Solomon Star yesterday said, his government is currently working closely with the disaster office in Lata.
He said, so far they have received reports of damages in Reef Islands, Tikopia and Anuta.
“But we could not ascertain the extent of damages until an assessment team is sent to investigate the islands. At the moment we cannot do anything due to bad weather,” he said adding, as soon as the weather calms down a team would be mobilised to conduct assessment so that immediate help is provided to the people.
By DENVER NEWTER