HEAVY rain and floods have left more than 20 dead and tens of thousands homeless in Guadacanal.
The Solomon Islands government declared a state of emergency after the Matanikau River burst its banks, sweeping away, people, houses and bringing down bridges.
The floodwaters have receded, but the country is yet to come to terms with the full extent of the damage. While rain lashes the country, major damage is seen in the Chinatown area of Honiara and in north-eastern Guadalcanal.
The Matanikau metal and wooded bridge is completely destroyed. The concrete bridge, the lifeline that links Henderson airstrip with Honiara, has been severely damaged.
Only a single line of light vehicles is permitted on the bridge at any time. With people displaced, infrastructure down and limited food supplies, the weeks and months ahead will be difficult.
The Solomon Islands seems to be moving from one disaster to the next - be they natural or manmade. Hardly have they risen when something else brings them down. Thus, while there is progress, it is slow and one has to have the patience to encourage it to happen.
With a little over 40% literacy, education is the key to a brighter future that cannot be compromised. Don Bosco Technical Institute at Henderson is re-opening today.
The Salesians are looking to ensure that students who have to travel great distances can stay at the Institute, which is a day school without proper boarding, dining or sanitation facilities.
We ask you to lift us in prayer that we make the right decisions for
the good of the students and the future of the country, Solomon Islands.