A multi agency team leaves today to assess the health, environment and impacts of climate change on water sources and food gardens on Lord Howe Islands.

The team is being dispatched following salt water inundation of gardening lands on the 9th December by big waves, spurred by strong winds that started in Papua New Guinea.

Information received through two-way radio contact with chiefs of Pelau and Luangiua settlements say the waves did not cause any injuries , deaths or destroy any houses except gardening lands and water sources.

The chiefs also reported that their food problem has been exacerbated by no shipping services in the last six months.

The chiefs said if shipping services had been regular, their food problems wouldn't have been as bad.

They also said people had made a lot of copra within the last six months.

They said those who made copra usually sold them to the retail shop owners but since there was no shipping in the last six months, this opportunity was not there.

The multi-agency team includes officers from Agriculture, National Disaster Management Office, Police, health, climate change, environment, water sources, Kastom Garden and Solomon Islands Red Cross and a team from Malaita Province.

The team will leave by Patrol Boat Lata and hope to complete their assessments and food distributions within three days.

Funds for the trip are provided by AusAID, UNDP and the Solomon Islands Government.

Source: National Disaster Management Office (Press Release)