Friday, April 04, 2008

One Year Since Major Natural Disaster in Solomon Islands

One year has past since a series of earthquakes, the largest registering 8.1 on the Richter Scale, struck the Western Provinces of the Solomon Islands on 2 April 2007. The earthquakes were followed by large tsunami waves.

NZAID immediately allocated $500,000 from the Pacific Regional Environment and Vulnerability Programme (PREVP) for the immediate response. We checked in with Mike Hartfield, EMDR programme manager to find out what New Zealand contributed to the response over the last year.
"Three C130 Hercules flights were sent over the following weeks carrying relief supplies provided by NZAID - tarpaulins, tents, water containers, generators - along with supplies provided by the Red Cross, World Vision NZ and Rotary International."

"NZ also sent two NZDF Air Loading Teams to provide logistical support."

"The balance of the $500k allocation (some $368k) supported an Oxfam International water and sanitation project that has been working in 38 temporary camps.

"The programme is based on three basic areas: installing water tanks, improving access to water and sanitation. Specifically the NZ funding assisted with promoting public health, distributing hygiene kits and resources promoting good public health and hygiene and developing and implementing a series of joint work programmes with the Ministry of Health and other agencies."

"This programme has, and continues, to make a significant difference" said Mike.
NZAID also made a contribution of $450,000 to the International Red Cross Appeal to assist with water and sanitation recovery activities.

This funding was all sourced from the PREVP and doesn’t include substantial funding from the SI bilateral programme which has been provided to focus on longer term recovery and rehabilitation.
Oxfam and the Red Cross have reported on the emergency response activities. A recent visit to the affected area by NZAID staff also reported on the Oxfam project as well as projects funded from the bilateral programme.

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