Samoa

Samoa: ADRA completes distribution, continues to support communities

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Wahroonga, New South Wales - Through donations from generous supporters, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) has been able to distribute garden and kitchen kits to 150 families in Samoa affected by a tsunami that devastated the region in September.

Support of ADRA's emergency management activities has enabled the agency to quickly respond to the needs of people affected by the disaster, and the agency has just completed the delivery of 130 garden kits, which included a spade, axe, bush knife and file, and 130 kitchen kits, including a pot, pan, containers, plates, cups and cutlery, to affected families in the villages of Saleapaga, Satitoa and Saleaumua on the south-eastern coast of the main island Upolu. The kits are helping families rebuild their homes and lives following the terrible disaster.

Paulo Pua, 44, and Falaniko Fili, 50, from Saleaumua village, both received garden kits and kitchen kits, among other support, for their families. "I personally am deeply appreciative of what ADRA and other organisations have done for us," Paulo said. "The equipment supplied is helping us rebuild. We cannot pay anything back but we pray that God will continue to bless ADRA." Paulo and Falaniko were fishing in their canoe when the tsunami struck and both were caught up in the massive wave. They survived the experience, with no injuries. All of their family members also survived, who ran to safety just before the wave hit the village.

ADRA continues to work with the three villages to help them in their ongoing efforts to clean up their communities and re-establish their homes in the hills behind the affected beach areas.

"This terrible disaster has had a significant impact on the people and most don't want to live near the water anymore," said ADRA New Zealand's emergency management manager, Robert Patton, who continues to visit the area in support of ADRA's response. "Many of the people have moved to their plantation lands in the hills behind the beach and need support as they start again pretty much from scratch. ADRA is committed to seeing them well along the path to recovery and back to a more normal kind of life."

ADRA's ongoing activities in the villages of Saleapaga, Satitoa and Saleaumua include a cash-for-work program that is providing vital income for community members, supporting the recovery of the local economy and enabling the clean-up of affected communities. ADRA is also providing disaster risk reduction training to enable communities to identify their own disaster risks and how to reduce them in preparation for any future disasters. As ADRA staff work with community members, they continue to assess the ongoing needs of the people so that plans can continue for their long-term recovery.

Following the 8.3 magnitude earthquake that triggered a catastrophic tsunami in the early hours of 29 September local time, ADRA distributed immediate supplies of food and water to the affected communities and worked with local authorities to provide a comprehensive and coordinated response. The agency then quickly moved into recovery activities to help communities start to rebuild.

ADRA Australia promptly opened a Pacific Disaster Appeal and extends thanks to all those who support ADRA's emergency management work. Donations can be made to ADRA Australia's ongoing emergency management activities in Australia and overseas by calling 1800 242 372 or visiting www.adra.org.au.

ADRA Australia is a non-government organisation (NGO) engaging in sustainable development projects and emergency management activities for people in need in Australia, the Pacific, Asia and Africa. It is a member of the Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) and has full accreditation with the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID). It is a member of the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) and is a signatory to ACFID's Code of Conduct. ADRA Australia is part of the international ADRA network, which has a presence in 125 countries. ADRA is the worldwide humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. For more information about ADRA Australia, or to sign up for email updates, visit www.adra.org.au.

View pictures of ADRA's response

Media Enquiries:

Candice Jaques
p 02 9489 5488
m 0407 172 305
e news@adra.org.au
www.adra.org.au