Solomon Islands

Fatal Solomons blast highlights threat in a country littered with bombs

A central Honiara residential area was rocked on Sunday by the detonation of a buried Howitzer shell which left one person dead and three others injured, two seriously.

The 101mm cannon round exploded in the Lengakiki area where the four youth members of the Kukum Seventh Day Adventist Church had been holding a fund-raising barbecue.

An elder from the church, Lloyd Tahani, said the open fire they were cooking on was directly above the shell.

"Maybe, because they had been cooking a long time, it triggered the bomb to explode," mused Tahani.

Young Adventist killed by bomb blast in Solomon Islands, others injured

Kukum youth leader Raziv Hilly (aged 29) died from injuries after being rushed to the National Referral Hospital. Two others remain in hospital in critical condition, and one sustained minor injuries.

Reports stated that four young people were cooking food on a wood fire for a fundraiser when the incident occurred, unaware that that the heat from the fire would trigger the bomb.

According to Solomon Star, Mr Hilly was from Vella La Vella and Ranoggah in the Western Province and was a qualified aviation engineer and property manager.

Solomons bomb blast kills 1, injures 3 others

Officer In-charge (OIC), Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Team, Inspector Clifford Tunuki said, “One of the four casualties has been confirmed dead, the other two are in critical condition and one has some minor injuries.”

Two of the three casualties are females according to OIC Tunuki.

Ground breaking ceremony for new Solomons national stadium

The China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) was awarded the US$25 million dollar contract earlier this year by the Chinese Government to construct the facilties for the 2023 Pacific Games, which will stretch across 14.95 hectares.

The construction work has been divided into seven projects at the King George VI precinct: the national stadium, tennis center, aquatic center, public catering area, futsal and hockey pitch, multi-purpose hall, and the running track and football field.

Solomons' leader says country back to being Covid-19 free

The Solomon Star reported 16 of the 20 former positive cases, who had been in isolation, had completed their follow-ups and been released.

Mr Sogavare told the paper the four others remained in isolation pending their follow-up tests and said all cases would be tested again 90 days after their first release into the community.

Sogavare also said the crew member diagnosed with Covid-19 on a gas supply vessel remains isolated on the ship and is not recorded in the Solomons' figures.

Solomon Islands family devastated by death of seasonal worker in Australia

Silas Ufiau died when the vehicle he was driving crashed into a campervan in the Bundaberg region of Queensland on Monday morning.

ABC News reports Redley Raramo, a close relative, said Mr Ufiau wanted to go to Australia to earn money to build a home for his wife and young child.

"We see Silas as one of those fortunate to have this opportunity...it's a big blow to our family and community as a whole," he said.

He's the third seasonal worker from the Solomon Islands to die in recent months on the road.

Solomon Islands receives 50,000 doses of a Covid-19 vaccine from China

The Solomon Times reports that the doses of Sinopharm vaccine arrived in Honiara on Sunday night.

The Sinopharm vaccine, which was developed by a Beijing-based State-Owned Enterprise, is yet to be approved by the World Health Organisation.

But the Solomons government said it would closely monitor the WHO's approval process relating to Sinopharm.

A Health Ministry official said the Sinopharm vaccine will only be rolled out once WHO approves it.

Solomons PM confirms Covid-19 border quarantine case

A foreign national who travelled from Papua New Guinea via Brisbane tested positive for Covid-19 on arrival in Honiara on Friday.

According to PM Sogavare, the traveler arrived on a ‘high risk flight from Brisbane.’

He said the passenger returned three negative tests prior to departing PNG.

Solomons Government thanks Australia and Vanuatu for safe return of 5 men lost at sea

The men were rescued from Maewo in Vanuatu. 

According to the Solomon Star, the three governments worked closely and arranged for the men to fly to Honiara on a Royal Australian Air Force aircraft last Friday. 

Solomons Ministry Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Deputy Secretary Cornelius Walegerea thanked the Australian and Vanuatu governments for their support in facilitating the safe return of the five men. 

Solomons vaccine rollout to begin Wednesday

At the weekend, 24-thousand doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, supplied through Covax facility, arrived in the Solomons.

The country's prime minister Manasseh Sogavare, gave a national update confirming the rollout will launch at the central field hospital which he said was best equipped for mass vaccinations.

He urged all people over eighteen years of age to get vaccinated when a health team comes to their area.