Leni says repeat of Western and Temotu tsunami problems likely
FLOOD victims do not demand money from the government according to interim chairman of the Flood Victims Taskforce Committee Jeffrey Leni.
Speaking exclusively to the Solomon Star about the plight of flood victims, Mr Leni said the victims want relocation and fair rehabilitation.
“We initially requested an audience with the Prime Minister but he did not respond. Victims were worried about two items. They are relocation and rehabilitation.
“What we were fed with by the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) was outrageous in terms of rehabilitation.
“One cannot rebuild their lives with a few farming tools and ration that can only last us for up to a month.
“Looking at the table outlined by the NDMO, they categorize victims in three categories. What was offered was nowhere near sustainable.”
Mr Leni said what victims want is relocation and reasonable building materials that will enable victims to rebuild, forget about the past and move on.
“We have seen what happened to victims of the tsunamis in Western and Temotu provinces. Some are still living in tents.
“That is the very reason why people cannot leave the shelters until they are properly relocated and rehabilitated.”
The interim chairman said according to the victims, the Prime Minister pledged that the government will ensure people are properly rehabilitated and will be helped rebuild their lives.
“The victims are ready to testify to that statement. People were promised. Now the Prime Minister has refused our request for an audience with him.
“The NDMO on the other hand is singing a different tune not pleasant to victims. Why reward Members of Parliament with $15million when those affected are still waiting for any drops of that money?
“As of today, no one really knows how many victims of the flood were directly benefited from the money.”
Mr Leni said those were the underlying issues that victims want resolved before they could evacuate the shelters.
National Disaster Management Office director Loti Yates earlier said his office understands some of the rioters were flood victims who are unhappy with the government’s relief program.
“We have to follow certain criteria for support – therefore we have to adhere to those criteria which somehow make people not happy.”
This paper furnished a list of questions to the Prime Minister yesterday, but his press secretary said the Prime Minister already explained the issues in Parliament on Monday.
By EDNAL PALMER