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‘We’re still waiting’

By Marieta Heidi Ilalio APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, May 11, 2010) - It’s been seven months since the tsunami devastated parts of Samoa last year and some families are still without permanent shelter.

[PIR editor’s note: The tsunami in September killed over 143 people in Samoa. Towering up to 46 feet high, the tsunami virtually destroyed everything in its path. Some are still waiting for the US$7,000 the government promised them for house materials. See earlier story.]

One family at Satitoa says they’ve waited for almost eight months.

Silipa Tuigamala said they had asked the Government for help since they believed it is the one responsible for the funds to build their house.

"The reply is to be patient and find a carpenter that can order building materials for our house," Mr. Tuigamala said.

The family still lives in a temporary shelter they’ve built for themselves.

"We are still waiting and I tell you we are sick and tired of it," he said.

Another family at Saleaumua has the same problem.

Pelenatete Kamilo said their family lost four big houses when the tsunami devastated their former dwelling place.

"So at this time, we are waiting for help from the government because they are the ones who should fund our shelter," Mrs. Kamilo said.

This family with ten members including a sick old man are exposed to the elements when it rains or when the weather is windy.

Mrs. Kamilo said the shelter they have now needs tarpaulin when it rains.

Many the families in Aleipata face shelter, water and electricity problems.

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