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SOLOMONS’ TEMOTUS STRUGGLE WITH RISING SEA Loss of land, hunger blamed on climate change

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Times, October 6, 2009) -Islands in Temotu Province are being affected by sea level rise and changes in weather pattern.

Premier of Edward Daiwo revealed this at the premiers’ conference in Tulagi last week.

Mr. Daiwo said the sea level rise has reduced landmass where edible fruit trees are grown and people live.

He said in some of the islands up to 100 meters in land have been washed out in the sea or has been submerged underwater.

Such, he said, affected food plants of edible trees because of in flooding of salt water.

"Their bearing capacities or yield has been reduced drastically," the premier said.

Daiwo announced that people in Pele Constituency are facing food shortage as a direct effect of the climate change from altered weather patterns and sea level rise.

He said edible fruit trees have not been bearing fruits in the two normal bearing seasons for last 18 months.

Daiwo added that people of Pele Constituency live on fruit trees like bread fruit, cut nuts, alite, coconuts, banana, and root crops as staple food.

He said schools in the provinces have to cut their lessons from 8.00am to 10.30am for lack of concentration in classes and students help their parents look for food because of the continuous food shortage.

The premier calls on the national and provincial governments to consider appropriate measures to take through the relevant ministries and seek international financial assistance to sustain lives on the small islands in the province and in other provinces such the Malaita outer islands.

Daiwo said he wants international attention on the matter because his people are suffering the effects of a problem created by others.

"Any foreign assistance should be practical to save lives other than just taking pictures of our hungry people, washed away homes and altered weather patterns resulting in our edible fruit trees to be non bearing in expected seasons," he said.

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