Relief supplies arrive in Temotu

More than 11,000 cartons of bottled water are being sent to the Reef Islands. Photo: NDMO

More than 11,000 cartons of bottled water and 40 tonnes of rice are being transported to Temotu Province.

They are among the relief supplies sent by the National Disaster Management Office to islands in Temotu Province impacted by volcanic ashfall and a recent cyclone, and most have arrived in the provincial capital, Lata.

The supplies were shipped out on Saturday and will be transported to the affected islands today or tomorrow, according to Loti Yates, director of the National Disaster Management Office.

“The supplies have just arrived in Lata earlier this morning, and we will be engaging other boats to transport the supplies to the affected islands,” Mr Yates said. “The provincial disaster office of Temotu Province will be coordinating the distribution of the supplies.”

Tikopia, Anuta and the Duff Islands will receive the 40-tonne rice shipment, as more than 2,500 people there are facing an ongoing critical food shortage after Cyclone Donna damaged crops in May.

Water supplies will support nearly 6,500 people in the Reef Islands who are facing a critical water shortage after widespread ashfall from the Tinakula volcano contaminated water supplies.

Mr Yates said the relief also includes medical supplies, and medical personnel are expected to be deployed to the affected areas.  He said assessments will be made to determine whether more supplies will be needed.

A statement from the disaster management office said the water supplies were sponsored by the governments of New Zealand and Australia, and the Solomon Islands government provided the food relief and met logistical costs of the distribution.

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