World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


UNICEF Responds to Urgent Water and Sanitation Needs

Solomon Islands Flooding – UNICEF Responds to Urgent Water and Sanitation Needs

Donate at: www.unicef.org.nz/solomon-islands

UNICEF is continuing to coordinate its emergency response with partners and the Solomon Islands Government in order to reach the estimated 52,000 people affected by extreme flooding. With water systems still extensively damaged and almost 10,000 people in evacuation centres, UNICEF’s main concern is ensuring people have clean water and adequate sanitation to prevent the potential spread of disease.

Cases of diarrhoea, acute respiratory infection and conjunctivitis have increasingly started to appear and UNICEF’s team on the ground has heard reports of malaria cases. People are at high risk of dengue fever also. Careful surveillance and reporting of all detected cases is necessary to prevent the spread of disease.

While 52,000 people country wide are thought to be affected, little still remains known about people in remote and hard to reach areas. As the lead supporting agency to the Solomon Islands Government for the coordination of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) activity, UNICEF’s key priority is to work with partners to urgently get clean water and adequate sanitation to those who need it.

UNICEF has also contributed supplies including water containers, purification tablets, and soap and aided in the development of hygiene messages. More supplies are urgently being shipped to the Solomon Islands.

Dennis McKinlay, Executive Director at UNICEF NZ said, “Honiara’s infrastructure is extremely damaged and the city’s water system is running at only 40% of capacity, with the quality of the water being a real concern.

“Our staff on the ground tells us that water and sanitation conditions in the 24 Honiara evacuation centres are continuing to deteriorate, as they are just not equipped for the numbers of people using them. Displaced people are mainly from the poor parts of Honiara, areas that were deficient in clean water and sanitation even before the flooding, so this situation is very serious.

“Damaged roads and bridges mean that water and sanitation assessments are still to be carried out in areas outside the evacuation centres in Honiara and other areas of Guadacanal, so we don’t have detailed information as to what people’s needs are in those areas yet.”

As part of the emergency response, additional water and sanitation and child protection staff have also been mobilized from UNICEF Fiji. UNICEF is also involved in education activities and supports health, nutrition, psychosocial support and child protection efforts.

At least twelve schools have been utilised as evacuation centres this week due to school holidays and 23 schools are also reported to have suffered damaged. However, schools are due to reopen on Monday posing serious concerns that children’s education will be jeopardised going forward.

Mr McKinlay added, “Education may not seem like an essential part of an emergency response, but in a disaster like this it is essential to normalise life for kids as soon as possible, as that will help them get over the trauma of what they have experienced.

“Getting kids back to school also allows their essential needs to be met while giving parents the chance to pick up the pieces of their lives, knowing that their kids are safe and looked after.” UNICEF has supplied tents in order to establish child friendly spaces where education can continue, with the hope that schools can re-open as normal on Monday.

UNICEF urgently needs funding of NZ$465,000 (US$400,000) to support our work and meet the most urgent needs. Items such as food and clothing cannot currently be accepted due to the logistical difficulties and costs associated with transporting items to the Solomon Islands.

Donations are urgently needed so UNICEF can provide essential supplies and support the emergency relief effort. To donate go to: www.unicef.org.nz/solomon-islands


-Ends-

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

As Health Needs Rise In Somalia, Funding Hits New Low

As health needs rise in Somalia, funding hits new low, cutting off 1.5 million from care – UN More>>

Need To End Violence Against Children In Conflict

‘We should be outraged’ more not being done to end violence against children in conflict – UNICEF chief More>>

On Mandela Day, UN Joins Call To Promote Community Service

Nelson Mandela, then Deputy President of the African National Congress of South Africa, raises his fist in the air while addressing the Special Committee Against Apartheid in the General Assembly Hall. UN Photo/P. Sudhakaran More>>

Some $3.2 Billion Needed For Ebola Recovery Efforts

Some $3.2 billion needed for Ebola recovery efforts in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – UN More>>

World Day: UN Spotlights Plight Of Vulnerable Populalations

Syrian refugees fleeing the fighting near the Syrian city of Kobani wait in a holding area before boarding buses in Turkey (September 2014). Photo: UNHCR /I. Prickett More>>

Afghanisatan: Direct Talks Between Government And Taliban

The United Nations Security Council has welcomed the recently held direct talks between Afghan Government and Taliban representatives as a step towards “peace and reconciliation” in the region. More>>

Eradicating World Hunger By 2030

Agriculture workers collect carrots on a farm in Chimaltenango, Guatemala. Photo: World Bank/Maria Fleischmann More>>

Bangladesh: Flood Leads To UN Agency Providing Food Relief

Anwar Hossain unloads cartons of High Energy Biscuits from a pickup truck and transfers them to a distribution center in Kawar Khop union, Ramu upazila, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Photo: WFP/Kamrul Mithon More>>

Ban Says World Must Act Now To Curb Climate Change

Alarmed by melting glacier in Norway, Ban says world must 'act now' to curb climate change More>>

UN Spotlights Data And Technology As Key To Sustainability

The importance of quality data and cutting edge information communication technologies (ICTs) is increasingly critical to the shaping of the future sustainable development agenda, the head of the United Nations Development Programme ( UNDP ) confirmed today. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news