Freeplay Stories

Solomon Islands Disaster Relief

On April 2, 2007, an 8.1 earthquake rocked the Solomon Islands, causing significant damage and destruction. The earthquake was followed by the further devastation of a tsunami. UNICEF have used 300 of Freeplay Energy's Lifeline radios to assist with improving access to education.


The Lifeline radio is extremely important in during disasters. Powered by human energy and by solar, it becomes a vital tool to establish communication amidst the breakdown and ruin of infrastructure. Internally displaced people have access to important information updates at all times. Project Partner: UNICEF.


On April 2, 2007, an 8.1 earthquake rocked the Solomon Islands, causing significant damage and destruction. The earthquake was followed by the further devastation of a tsunami. The two natural disasters affected approximately 50,0001 people. 30,0002 of the people affected are children, with 15,0003 under the age of five. The crisis has resulted in more than 5,4004 displaced people, which has created a massive communication nightmare.


In such disasters, children are always severely affected. A breakdown in family routine, health, and education can cause distress and instability. The damage and collapse of educational centers hampers the learning process for children. Addressing such needs is an urgent priority for UNICEF. Most importantly, education must be re-established, as it is vital that children do not fall behind and regain a normal routine.


UNICEF is using 300 of Freeplay Energy's Lifeline radios to assist with improving access to education. The radios are being distributed in the western province and Choiseul, in the Solomon Islands. The distribution of the Lifeline radios coincides with re-establishment of the local FM transmitter in Gizo, the capital of the western province. The radios are being distributed to the management committees and women's committees of the Internally Displaced People (IDP) camps, which were established immediately following the earthquake and tsunami.


In combination with the distribution, radio campaigns have been established on primary health care, child protection, back to school and public health warnings about the large amount of asbestos in the wreckage of buildings destroyed or damaged by the earthquake and tsunami. The Freeplay Energy Lifeline radios are being used to alert people to these issues. Most importantly, it will influence people to re-establish normal routine and return their children to school. The radios are assisting in rebuilding education in the Solomon Islands.


The Lifeline radio is extremely important in during disasters. Powered by human energy and by solar, it becomes a vital tool to establish communication amidst the breakdown and ruin of infrastructure. Internally displaced people have access to important information updates at all times. Furthermore, the Lifeline radio is suitable for a group of up to 40 listeners, so it is extremely useful in the IDP camps as you are able to reach a larger group of people at once.