- Vessel Location: Gizo
- The Solomon Islands' Prime Minister visited Gizo today.
- The Secretary General for the Red Cross in Solomon Islands, Mr Charles Kelly recently stated “all our international technical delegate working from Gizo in the Tsunami operation have all expressed satisfaction and appreciation for the use of the [Pelena Express] boat. We have been able to archive our objectives using the boat reaching the people we wanted see and visit.”
- The Red Cross has provided some photos of the Pelena Express vessel in operation. See below (hyperlinked to minimise space on this page - for our internet dial-up visitors)
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
- Vessel Location: Kolombangara
- Working today with Red Cross around Kolombangara
- Nixon reports that many villages are amazed and delighted with how the Pelena Express vessel can get in to their beachfront and allow the people to easily get on and off.
- Peter Lynch suggests that here would be an opportunity for the Australian Govt to donate some of these boats to SI for post-disaster reconstruction.
- Interesting interview in relation to water transport was conducted by Radio Australia with the Western Province Premier, Mr Alex Lokopio. In part he said “…the biggest problem again we face here is — it is easy to internally transport all the supplies from Honiara to Gizo and maybe from Munda to Gizo, but from Gizo to other islands we do not have enough boats; we do not have enough fast canoes to load enough food to really reach out to the other outlying areas..” Full interview can be found at http://www.abc.net.au/ra/pacbeat/stories/m1377706.asx
- Other news - from the Kastom Gaden Association (KGA) received today is as follows: KGA team arrived yesterday afternoon at Sasamuqa after travelling on Red Cross charter of Pelena boat along coast of Choiseul stopping at Kakaza, Papara, Panarui and then Sasamuqa. The pattern of damage is very irregular — certain places including Kakaza, Panarui and Sasamuqa have been completely devastated and look like Bandah Aceh. In different small villages within these areas 75-100% of houses and other buildings are completely destroyed. For example Pirini in Sasamuqa is a bare beach with posts sticking out — even the debris is gone. A quick picture of agriculture situation in affected areas in Choiseul: generally Gardens are unaffected. Although limited numbers of households who had gardens on the coast and not in the bush have lost their food source they are in a minority but a group that needs to be identified and assisted for some time while they re establish. Large numbers of livestock have been lost — their appear to be very few chickens or pigs left. Copra sheds and driers are mostly destroyed. Large numbers of sup sup gardens and fruit trees are lost within villages. There are locally specific food access problems — for example in kakaza people have to paddle through a mangrove and swamp to gardens but there is only one canoe left for 70 households and so they are having great difficulty accessing gardens — only for harvesting but for not for work. Some are more aware than others of the need to restart planting and garden work as soon as possible but rice is delaying this. There is a lot of trauma. Rice from NDC has been equally distributed to every village which is wrong as the pattern of impact is very irregular. For example Panarui with 75% of houses completely destroyed recieved the same amount of rice as Papara with 4 houses destroyed. In general food is not really needed but in these devastated villages is playing a useful role to give people time to recover from trauma, establish shelters etc. The hospital building is still standing but most of the contents very damaged. Coastal buildings of the hospital colapsed/destroyed. There is some clean up underway now. The ADF is here with a field hospital and they have been ensuring that supplies are coming through the amry and police channels. In general there is a very urgent need for more shelter (tents) and basic supplies such as pots, tools, clothes, lamps and kerosene. There is a disaster committee established here that seems well organised. There is a lot of frustration with province and other agencies very slow response. ….
Friday, April 13, 2007
- Vessel Location: Luti Bay, Choisel
- Approximately 72Nm (nautical miles) from Gizo
- Red Cross continue the charter of the vessel
- Vessel visited a number of villages, including Kakaza Village
- Main damage along Choisel coastline from wave, not earthquake. “Wave strip out houses” according to Nixon. Damage everywhere.
- Heading on to Papara, about 14km away
- To Sassumunga this afternoon
- 12 people on board including Red Cross persons and representatives from Kastom Gaden
- 50 bags rice & noodles.
- (News from Iriri Village on Kolombangara: wharf destroyed and now under water; new church (was under construction) completely destroyed; most houses damaged, some destroyed)
- Peter Lynch received email from Red Cross in Honiara. They wish to continue chartering of the vessel next week. They would be pleased for the Australian Govt to charter the boat. “Because decisions take time to be reached we can not wait but to reach people needed to be reached.”
- We remain unsuccessful with our suggestions to the Aust Govt to directly charter the vessel and make it available to the disaster. Dorrigo community (town where the boat builder, Pelena Energy, is based) is showing continued support and encouragement.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
- Vessel Location: Near Ringi, Kolombangara Island
- Vessel currently chartered by the Red Cross
- 100 bags of rice (20kg each) plus clothing, cooking pots delivered to villages along Kolombangara’s South-West coastline, including villages of Vavanga, Ghatere, Hundi, and Ringi.
- This afternoon plan to head back to Gizo to re-load for tomorrow.
- Plan to complete visiting other villages on Kolombangara.
- The National Disaster Committee (NDC) in Gizo enquired today to charter vessel. Coordination of vessels role of NDC.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007