Press Release – OceansWatch
Joe Nokali is a resident of Tuwo village on Fenualoa Island in the Reef Islands, Temotu District of the Solomon Islands. Over the last 3 years that OceansWatch has been visiting the area to help the community Joe has been an active member of the …OceansWatch helping in wake of Tsunami
OceansWatch Solomon Islands Reef Guardian loses house in Tsunami
Joe Nokali is a resident of Tuwo village on Fenualoa Island in the Reef Islands, Temotu District of the Solomon Islands.
Over the last 3 years that OceansWatch has been visiting the area to help the community Joe has been an active member of the Reef Guardian team. The Reef Guardians are not paid for the work they do monitoring and caring for the reef, they are just a bunch of community minded folk who step forward to help their village. Joe is an active participant in the program and helps with the monthly monitoring that the Tuwo Reef Guardian team undertakes every month.
Unfortunately Joe and his disabled sister live on the most vulnerable part of Fenualoa, an area that over the living memory of the community has lost about 300m to erosion. We are not certain of why this erosion has taken place but we can see the results, most of the graveyard near Joe’s house has washed into the sea! The locals attribute the erosion, all of which has happened in the last 50 years to sea level rise and changing weather patterns, in other words they are victims of Climate Change.
The main Island of Santa Cruz bore the brunt of the recent Tsunami but it also reached Fenualoa, where Joe lives. We have still not had a report back from our friends on Fenualoa but one thing we do know is that the wave swept through the villages and Joe and his sister lost their house.
OceansWatch is NOT an Aid organisation however in this case we want to help our friend and his sister to get housed again as soon as possible. Joe has no “job” as such, like 95% of men on Fenualoa; Joe is a fisherman and subsistence farmer. He will build his house again and one for his sister but buying the materials will cost him and we doubt that he has any savings at all to cover this disaster.
Materials for a house will cost about NZ$320 each. They will also have lost pots and pans and bedding as will some neighbours. As we have not had a full report yet we want to set a target for a fundraiser of NZ$2,000. That will be enough for Joe and his sister’s house and some cooking utensils and other essentials for them and a few neighbours.
OceansWatch New Zealand will collect the money and send it to our OceansWatch Solomon Island’s account to be spent by OceansWatch Solomon Islands Directors specifically for Tsunami relief on Fenualoa Island.
Contribute here for the Fenualoa Fund
OceansWatch Members and Directors provide Tsunami relief
OceansWatch Solomons Islands directors have quickly stepped up to help victims of the recent Tsunami in the Solomon Islands.
Chris Bone, OceansWatch founder reports that 2 OceansWatch Solomon Islands directors are already in Lata, capitol of Santa Cruz Island. Dr Simon Salopeke is volunteering at the hospital and Lawrence Nodua is helping restore telecommunications. Ben Angoa, a Community Health Nurse arrives Saturday to assist too.
OceansWatch members are also keen to help. The plans is for 2 OceansWatch Expedition lead yachts supported by about 5 OceansWatch member’s yachts to head to the area as soon as the risk of hurricanes has dissipated. OceansWatch already has a program in the area but this tsunami may change the work priorities. Chris Bone says that the help OceansWatch provides will be more about long term resilience than “Aid” which is covered by other organisations, more suited to the role.