Initial Damage Assessment (IDA) following reported damages caused by the recent double Tropical Cyclones Judy and Kevin has been completed in Tikopia and Anuta islands in the Temotu Province.
An NDC led multi-sectoral assessment team comprising National Disaster Management Office, Health, Agriculture, Water Resources and Telecommunication sectors were on ground for 10 days to carry out the assessment, and also distributed emergency supplies such rice, medical supplies, agricultural tools and kitchen utensils to people who needed immediate assistance on the two islands.
Upon arrival in Tikopia on Monday 13th March, the team with the assistance of the Temotu Provincial Government led by the Provincial Premier made a courtesy call with the chiefs of Tikopia before the team went straight to work doing assessment by the various sectors. Work resumedon Tuesday and continued on Wednesday.
Preliminary findings have now been consolidated into a report proper and indications are that the Agriculture sector is the most affected in both Tikopia and Anuta. Speaking to MECDM PRESS an officer from MAL said there is widespread damage to food gardens on the islands. The two main root crops on the islands cassava and taro patches were either covered by landslides or inundated by water and now subjected to extreme heat from the sun after the cyclones. It is anticipated that people will start experiencing shortage of root crops shortly.
“’There is widespread damage to food gardens on the island of Tikopia. They are very lucky that the NDMO has arranged for this assessment together will the emergency supplies delivered today (Tuesday) will go a long in supplementing whatever is left of their destroyed food gardens”’ Mrs Margaret Kiko said.
In the water Resources sector, the findings revealed that there is high turbidity in the water sources due to the recent cyclones. For Tikopia, some reservoirs are either damaged or buried by landslides. Added to that most PVC pipping’s are also broken. Asked whether the water is safe to drink and officer with the water resources Mr. Danstan said;
“No! Generally the water is not safe to drink. It is still contaminated by debris and mud. Also to test the water whether it is safe to drink we must wait until everything settles down. Normally testing water quality is done when the water is considered clean. Only then can we ascertain whether the water is drinkable or not”
Currently people are relying on coconut and rain water tanks provided by CRISP Project under the Ministry of Environment Climate Chang Disaster management and Meteorology some years back.
For Anuta Island, the team also took the same approach to do their assessment on the various sectors. Findings indicated the impact of the cyclone was minimal on all sectors. However, due to heavy rains associated with the two cyclones the main food crops on the island (Cassava and Taro) were damaged due to landslides. Highly compacted soil also prevented water from sinking into the soil resulting root crops being water logged.
On both of the Islands emergency supplies in the form of basic food, kitchen utensils, tarpaulins and agricultural tools were distributed to families who are in need of immediate assistance. A final report is being compiled with the summary findings will be presented to the National Disaster Operations Committee (N-DOC) in an extra ordinary meeting schedule for today, to determine the next level of assistance appropriate to respond to the needs of the people. The NDC through the N-DOC acknowledges the New Zealand and Australian Governments, Royal Solomon Islands Police Force, Solomon Islands Red Cross Society, World Vision Solomon Islands and ADRA for the provision of food and none-food items to both Tikopia and Anuta.