The Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development (MEHRD), and UNICEF, are working together on immediate priorities in response to the recent flooding in Honiara and Guadalcanal.

“First reports on damage to schools are painting a picture of a very serious situation that will take good planning and a considerable amount of money to repair our schools,” said MEHRD’s Permanent Secretary, Dr Franco Rodie.

“We need to make sure our efforts are well coordinated and our first priority is to make sure the drinking water and sanitation needs of evacuees in schools acting as Designated Evacuation Centres are being taken care of”.

The recent Situation Report confirms there are over 3,000 people sheltering in six Honiara schools with an additional 3,500 at the Panatina Pavilion of the Solomon Islands National University. The Ministry has allocated an immediate allocation of up to SBD$400,000 to ensure these affected schools have water and sanitation needs met. UNICEF is coordinating this effort with the Solomon Islands Government’s National Disaster Management Organization.

The Ministry is also working with Education Authorities to identify schools that have suffered significant damage and need the most urgent attention. Private contractors and local labor will be used to repair the schools to bring them up to the standards set by the Ministry.