Tuesday, 24 May 2011 8:12 AM

Project Officer Calls for Relocation of Atoll Islanders

People living in low lying islands in the country need to be considered for relocation before the devastating effects of climate change becomes too late to address.

Project Officer of the Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change program, Casper Supa made the statement after a recent assessment of Ontong Java atoll in Malaita Outer Islands.

Mr Supa says that Ava Village is the worst affected, the village used to have more than twenty houses in the past but due to the constant erosion of the village's shoreline, the village now has only five houses.

He says people who left Ava village have since relocated to an island usually used to make food gardens. Mr Supa says that this has affected their ability to garden, as settlement is now growing and gardening land is becoming scarce.

He says the villagers have also reported that their seasonal food crops are no longer growing normally as the soil has become infertile.

Mr Supa says that the impacts of climate change experienced by Ava village will be repeated elsewhere in the country. He says there is a real need for the government to act urgently.