RISING SEA LEVEL REALITY IN SOLOMONS’ MALAITA

Editorial

Solomon Star

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Dec. 18, 2008) - Environment minister Gordon Darcy Lilo should now turn his focus to the Malaita outer islands looming disaster.

He recently acknowledged the atolls there are going under water and islanders are losing their stable food crops to rising sea level. But he did not tell us what the Government is going to do about the situation there.

This week, fresh news has filtered in that the islanders are increasingly in danger as their atolls continue to be bombarded by rising waters.

Reports from the atolls said since last week, rough seas that generated giant waves have been hitting the islands, destroying root crops that the people rely on for food.

Now hunger has set in as villagers run low on food.

But we are yet to hear from the outspoken minister for environment what the Government is going to do about this.

Let’s be frank here. The Malaita outer islands situation is a serious one. The threats of rising sea level that Minister Lilo always mentioned in his official speeches are real there.

Villagers are seeing it happening before their eyes and experienced the negative impacts it brought on their livelihood.

They are now experiencing food shortage because their food gardens are producing little and their seas are supplying them with less fish.

The rising sea level is a constant threat to their survival on the islands.

These are reasons enough for the Government to take a serious look at the predicament the islanders there face. The reality is the atolls there will eventually go under water and the people will have to be relocated.

If the Government is yet to design a relocation plan for the islanders, it must do so now.

Because soon, and very soon, it will have to relocate the people of Malaita outer islands to a new location.

This will not be done overnight. Therefore, advance planning must be done now.

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