CWS has sent an initial grant of NZ$20,000 to meet immediate relief needs in Samoa hit hard by Cyclone Evan on December 13.
The grant will enable locals to get on with the huge cleanup job and help families with food and shelter in the short term. Damage is reported as much greater than during the 2009 tsunami.
CWS is working closely with the Family Centre and Caritas in the first instance. The money will help provide blankets, sheets and clothing for those being sheltered in Caritas evacuation centre as well as food as required.
In addition the Family Centre has organized two types of teams based in Fa’atoia in order to access the most severely affected zone between Lelata and Magiagi, Apia. One group is made up of builders and carpenters experienced in both Samoan traditional and more westernized housing who will repair and rebuild homes. The second is made up of local young men who can clear the damaged trees using chainsaws.
The funds released will help buy the equipment needed including solar lamps for those without electricity. By Christmas Day many urban families are likely to find it much harder to locate food and will need rice supplied. While power is being restored to Apia, rural areas maybe waiting for a month or more. Gutters and rainwater tanks have been badly damaged and water is in short supply. Cleaning local water sources in villages is a high priority. Damage done to the national water system means many people have to find alternative water sources.
CWS has received messages from the Pacific Conference of Churches and the Christian Congregational Church of Samoa (CCCS) acknowledging our concern for those affected by the Cyclone. Dr Salevao writes from CCCS: “Thank you so much for the kind thoughts and prayers. Indeed, once again we are having to go through the painful process of grieving for our people who have lost loved ones, houses, possessions, and even hope. Many of those affected are members of our church and we have begun the long comforting and recovery process again. We feel strong in faith though, assured that we have friends and colleagues who are with us in our good and bad times. It is people like you and Christian World Service of New Zealand who give us the strength to go on. Please keep us in your prayers.”
Please help CWS respond to the on-going needs by making a donation to the Pacific Cyclone Appeal. Please continue to pray for the people of Samoa and Fiji.
Donations to help Pacific people hit by Cyclone Evan in Samoa and Fiji can be made here, sent to PO Box 22652, Christchurch 8140 or by calling 0800 74 73 72.
December 24, 2012