The National Disaster Council held a first ever Melanesian Volcanic Network Roundtable consultation Meeting at Honiara Hotel last Friday.

Chaired by the Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Mines and Energy, Mr. Tione Bugotu, the consultation was attended by NZAid, the World Health Organisation, UNICEF, JICA and relevant stakeholders.

The main aim of the meeting was to talk about the effectiveness and sustainability of response to volcanic disasters in the Solomon Islands.

Other things discussed were the indicative budget costs which would be needed for the response on the type situations, the reduction of risk and mobile unit set up.

The consultation will also provide feedback from disaster situation as experienced by each stakeholder.

According to UNICEF officer, Mr. Stephen Maitani, he said that the common disasters faced by the country are that of Cyclone, Earthquake and the Tsunami. Volcano disasters have never been experienced, however, Solomon Islands is also prone to volcano disasters.

Mr. Maitani told Solomon Times that the Director for the National Disaster Council, Mr. Loti Yates explained that volcanic disasters should be provided with platforms, because such disasters would occur at any time.

Stating his opinion about the meeting, Mr. Maitani told Solomon Times that it would be much better if the National Disaster Council of each Pacific country could establish a working committee with appropriate members, to address disaster situations in a better way.

The Melanesian Volcanic Network Roundtable was supported by the Aus-Aid and NZ-Aid.