The National Disaster Council (NDC) warns against rumours of cash grants for those people displaced by the recent floods.

“There are unfortunate rumours circulating regarding cash support for those who choose to remain in evacuation centres,” said the Chair of the NDC, Dr Melchior Mataki.

“We would like to be clear these are very damaging rumours, and we do not want people to have false expectations.”

Dr Melchior says that information regarding flood assistance should only be obtained from the NDMO and officials.

“Experience has taught us that distributing cash is often not the best option, as cash can easily be abused. Humanitarian support – what we are doing right now – is the most effective form of support and the best way to make sure people are getting the assistance they most need,” said Dr Melchior.

The National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) continues to encourage those who can to return to their homes, and work on rebuilding their homes and livelihood.

Meanwhile, return and rehabilitation is continually taking place across all evacuation centres. The following evacuation centres have been closed, with all evacuees supported to return to their homes:

• White River School
• Mbokona School
• Mbua Vale School
• Naha School
• Koloale School

This has allowed several thousand students to resume classes and continue their education.

There are still some schools that remain completely closed, including King George Six, Mbokonavera Primary School, Tuvaruhu School, and Solomon Islands National University Panatina Campus.

“To those who remain in the evacuation centres and have homes to return to, please allow us to help you rebuild your lives. The NDMO and partners will continue to offer non-monetary assistance, including food and water rations, fast-growing vegetable seeds, and other means of support, where appropriate and achievable,” the NDMO said in a prepared statement.

Meanwhile, it is understood those remaining evacuation centres have formed a joint committee seeking to highlight issues they deem important.

“We have had several meetings and are putting a written submission together to present to the government,” said one of the committee members in a recent interview with Solomon Times.

“We want the government to understand that we cannot return to our homes unless there is some assistance to help us resettle.”

It is understood several options are being considered, including some form of relocation package for those that cannot return and may wish to be resettled elsewhere.