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Horabau community prepares for natural disasters

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The Evacuation and Resource centre at Horabau.
THE Horabau community on the hilltop of North West Guadalcanal made a huge leap in their effort to prepare for natural disasters like cyclones and earthquakes in future.

This came after the community of 500 people built an evacuation and resource centre in their village.

Representatives of Solomon Islands Development Trust, Solomon Islands Red Cross, National Disaster Management Office and Aus Aid who assisted the project travelled to the community on Saturday to hand over the building to them.

It’s a two deck building with six rooms upstairs, a living room and a porch.

Chairman of the project, Hexley Ona said it has taken about a month to erect the building.

He said the building is still to be completed but the hardest part has already been done.

“The donors supported us with more than $27,000 to pay for iron roofing and other materials.

“But the manpower, gravel and timbers were provided by us,” he said.

Mr Ona said the challenge faced by the community during the course of the work was collecting materials like timbers from the forest and food for the laborers.

“We have to go down to seaside to collect water to mix cement and buy food because our garden could not produce food due to the ongoing dry weather,” he said.

However, he said the community was very happy for the achievement “because it will help them ready for future natural disasters”.

“We have surrounding villages located at the sea side that were affected by the floods early this year.

“However with this new evacuation centre, it will provide an accommodation for them during such disaster,” he said.

National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) officer, Julian Maka’a said an evacuation centre is very important to prepare for disasters in light of many hazards created by climate change today.

He said Solomon Islands is facing lots of disorders like rising of sea level, tsunami, earthquake and cyclones.

The Government is currently introducing a National Reduction Management Plan to deal with all these disorders.

Maka’a said it will replace the National Reduction Plan developed after the Cyclone Namu in 1987.

“The problem with the National Reduction Plan developed after cyclone Namu in 1987 was it focuses only on addressing problems caused by cyclones.

“So the new Government’s National Reduction Management Plan will try to address all other disasters,” he said.

Horabau community is from generations of 80 people the Government relocated from Biti in weathercoast after the a 7 magnitude earthquake hit Guadalcanal in 1977.