SOLOMONS LAWMAKERS TOUR TSUNAMI STRICKEN AREAS

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By Moffat Mamu

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, April 17) - A high level delegation from the Solomon Islands government led by Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare is currently on a weeklong tour in the two earthquake tsunami stricken provinces of Western Solomons.

The government delegation including its senior officials and members of the Cabinet arrived in Gizo on Sunday and began their official tour yesterday in Gizo.

The tour is the prime minister’s first visit since the earthquake and tsunami hit Choiseul and Western provinces on April 2, which has now claimed 53 lives.

From Gizo, the Mr. Sogavare will visit Simbo, Ranongga, Vella La Vella, the Shortland Islands, Choiseul Bay, New Georgia, Munda, Rendova, Kolombangara, and Kukudu before returning to Gizo on a patrol boat.

It is understood Technical experts from the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Resources are accompanying the delegation to explain to the victims the ‘mechanics and engineering’ of how the disaster happened.

Sogavare last week said the visit is to show support to the victims that government is serious about the problem and also for the Cabinet members to see the actual destruction.

The delegation will arrive on back in Honiara on Friday.

There are other dignitaries, which visited the victims last week.

His Excellency the Governor General Sir Nathaniel Waena visited the quake-tsunami victims in the two provinces on the first weekend after the disaster.

Followed by the French Ambassador based in Port Moresby and Australian High Commissioner Peter Hooton who toured parts of the two battered provinces sharing sympathy to the victims.

Japan’s ambassador His Excellency Koichi Kodama was among the first official dignitary to visit the victims few days after the disaster. New Zealand’s Defence Minister Phil Goff also made a visit to the Western Solomons.

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