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

 

Peace Deal ‘first Step’ In Resolving South Sudan Crisis

Children at a protection of civilians site in Juba, South Sudan, run by the UN Mission, perform at a special cultural event in March 2015. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine More>>

Yemen: Killing Or Maiming An Average Of Eight Children A Day

Killing or maiming an average of eight children a day, ‘brutal’ Yemen conflict must end – UNICEF More>>

Changing Habits/behaviours Key To Overcome Vaccine Hesitancy

Vaccine hesitancy can be caused by factors such as negative beliefs based on myths, misinformation. Fear of needles can be a factor for refusal. Photo: PAHO/WHO More>>

Burundi: Ban Condemns Assassination Of Senior Army Officer

Refugees from Burundi in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Photo: OCHA/Naomi Frerotte United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the assassination Burundi’s former Army Chief of Staff, Colonel Jean Bikomagu, who ... More>>

Deadly Industrial Explosions In Northern China

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has been deeply saddened to learn of the loss of life and the injuries to scores of people as a result of deadly explosions in Tianjin, China. More>>

UN Urges Action To Tackle Deepening Refugee Crisis In Greece

A group of Syrian refugees arrive on the island of Lesbos after travelling in an inflatable raft from Turkey, near Skala Sykaminias, Greece. Photo: UNHCR/A. McConnell More>>

Probe Into Those Responsible For Chemical Weapons In Syria

The US Vessel Cape Ray, on which all 581 metric tonnes of a precursor chemical for sarin gas were removed from Syria and safely destroyed as the ship sailed in international waters in 2014. Photo: US Dept. of Transportation More>>

Myanmar Election: UNICEF Urges Prioritisation Of Children

With 99 days to go before Myanmar elections, UNICEF urges candidates make children the clear winner More>>

Liberia Thousands Of Unregistered Children Born During Ebola Crisis

Thousands of unregistered children born in Liberia during Ebola crisis at risk of exploitation – UNICEF More>>

UN Refugee Agency Envoy Angelina Jolie Visits Myanmar

UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie Pitt (left) in Myitkyina township, Kachin State, Myanmar, meeting with some of the 100,000 displaced people who currently live there. Photo: UNHCR/T.Stoddart More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news