Chief calls for relocation as tides ‘eat into our homes’

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BY MAVIS NISHIMURA PODOKOLO

Chief Peter Kalali of Lord Howe.

CHIEF Peter Kalali on behalf of the people of Lord Howe has called on the Solomon Islands government to relocate them as the threat of rising sea levels intensifies in the atolls.

The low lying atolls of Ontong Java, part of the Malaita Outer Islands constituency, also known as Lord Howe islands, are facing hardships wrought on them by rising sea levels.

Speaking with Chief Kalali of Lord Howe, he said Lord Howe is a tiny low-lying atoll vulnerable to sea level rise and within the current generation alone they have witnessed a stark difference in sea level, hence relocation is a must.

With that, Kalali calls on the Solomon Islands government to consider this matter and relocate them to any other province with higher grounds.

He said the people of Lord Howe need to be relocated as the tides are eating into their homes.

“Our people will have to move as the tides have reached our homes and villages,” said Kalali.

He said their traditional food sources like swampy taro are being threatened by the current sea level intrusion.

Over-fishing and extraction of sea resources by local residents means sea food and marine lives are also becoming scarce.

On the same insight Kalali uttered that it is not only about physical relocation of people and their properties but also entails political, social economic and cultural shifts for them and those who will receive them.

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