Supporting Earthquake and Tsunami Relief in the Solomon Islands

March 5, 2013

Episcopal Relief & Development is partnering with the Anglican Church of Melanesia (ACoM) to provide emergency assistance following an earthquake and tsunami that struck the Solomon Islands on February 6. The office of the Diocese of Temotu is on Santa Cruz Island, one of the easternmost of the Solomon Islands and among those hardest hit. Widespread flooding and destruction of homes left an estimated 4,000 people in need of food, shelter, clothing and clean water.

In response, ACoM has been working with the National Disaster Management Office to assess and meet community needs. The Church estimates that of the 4,000 people impacted, about half are still lacking basic supplies and services. Tents for housing, food, cooking utensils, clothing and safe drinking water are among the most urgent requirements. Because the population of Temotu is about 75% Anglican, the Church is well connected at the community level and can reach remote areas that are not currently being targeted by other response efforts. In addition to humanitarian relief, ACoM staff are also providing pastoral care and support.

“The initial earthquake and tsunami and later aftershocks destroyed homes, gardens, tree plantations, water sources and the wharf in Lata, damaging local food and water supplies and making it difficult to import outside resources,” said Nagulan Nesiah, Program Officer for Episcopal Relief & Development. “We will continue to work with our Church partners to support their relief and recovery activities.”