Water Shortage a Vulnerability to Communities in Solomon Islands

CRISP conducting vulnerability assessments of water sources in vulnerable communities in Solomon Islands.

THE Solomon Islands is threatened by climate change and is highly exposed to a range of natural hazards such as cyclone, droughts, landslide and floods.

Drought and the pollution of fresh water are already showing up as problems among many communities, according to the Community Resilience to Climate and Disaster Risk in Solomon Islands Project, known as CRISP.

CRISP director Mary Alalo said that most villagers the project works with reported experiencing long term droughts. Where in the past droughts lasted for two to three months now they were lasting for up to six months.

“Sea level rise affects waters from wells. Salt water intrusion into wells stops them being able to access water from wells,” she said.

The low-lying atolls of Lord Howe Islands, Sikaiana and Reef Islands in Temotu province were among the communities most affected by sea level rise.

Also some communities in Guadalcanal where wells were used as sources of water found them contaminated by soil and rubbish after heavy rainfall.

CRISP provides water tanks for some of these communities.

Mrs Alalo said failing to address communities’ access to water made them very vulnerable.