CHRISTMAS MARKS SAMOA VILLAGE INLAND RELOCATION

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Savai‘i village fears future tsunamis

By Rosalia Setefano APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, Dec. 30, 2010) – In Samoa, Fagamalo not only celebrated the birth of Christ last Saturday, Christmas also marked the villagers’ relocation inland.

[PIR editor’s note: Fagamalo village is located on the central north coast of Savai'i, Samoa’s largest island.]

Reverend Tileli Tauaifaiga of the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa led a ceremony held in the new village, noting the significance of the day.

The decision to move inland was made by villagers who feared living so close to the ocean following the 2009 tsunami.

Village representative Fa’amoe Etele said safety was the village’s first priority.

"The disaster last year was a lesson for all of us," he said.

At the ceremony two new water 5,000 tala [US$2,100] water tanks, donated by the American South Seas Christian Ministry, were unveiled.

Ministry members Rev. Faletoese Fa’amatala and wife Lagi Fa’amatala were in attendance to present the tanks.

Rev. Fa’amatala said, Christmas day is a day of sharing and giving and so it was the right time to make the donation.

"May these tanks help the village as it relocates inland," Rev Fa’amatala said.

Fa’amoe thanked the Ministry for its donation.

"I thank God that our prayers have been answered, he said. That these Good Samaritans have donated these special gifts to the village."

They ended with a feast for all the guests.

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