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Honiara evacuation centre closures delayed two months after Solomon Islands floods

Tuesday June 17, 2014 - 00:44 EST

Solomon Islands disaster officials have delayed plans to close the remaining evacuation centres, which were opened after the April floods.

Solomon Islands' National Disaster Council director Loti Yates told the council has been given until June 21 to clear the remaining centres.

He says the closures were delayed by budgetary problems, but he expects NDC operations to be back on schedule soon.

"We've been held back due to problems that we're having with our budget, so we were not able to get the people to move," he said.

"But I think the government will be making funds available shortly so we should be able to continue the repatriation process."

The April floods left thousands homeless, many of whom were living in squatter settlements close to the rivers and waterways around the capital Honiara.

More than 1,000 people are still in emergency accommodation, some unable to return to their destroyed homes, others holding out for compensation after rumours the government would provide cash grants to victims.

Mr Yates says authorities are aiming to repatriate people back to their province of origin, which will be a "challenge".

He says many appear unwilling to return to their home provinces after settling in Honiara for the long-term.

"We are dealing people who have lived in Honiara and have children attending schools and doing their educaiton in Honiara so that is likely to be a problem because people will be refusing to leave because we are compromising on the education of their children and the services they are enjoying in Honiara," he said.


© ABC 2014

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