Open letter to organisations who should be helping families with cyclone relief

Dear Editor,

I am writing this letter to publicly seek an explanation from the various agencies/organisations that are supposed to assist in times of disasters such as the D.M.O. and Red Cross. 

My family was one of those badly affected by Cyclone Gita, our houses were inundated with water and mud and up to now we are still cleaning. 

Meanwhile, I have not seen anyone from either organisations actually come to our area at Lelata to check and see what help they can provide. 

Instead, my kids were asked once at the front main road by some strangers asking questions like… is your family okay, what do you need? 

Like hello, do we look like we’re okay? 

Everywhere you look screams “disaster” and all you can do is sit in your air conditioned car probably fueled by tax payers money and ask my young kid if we’re okay? 

I can’t say for sure if these people were from one of these organisations and if they were then my question is – why are you asking questions at the front road instead of coming in and seeing for yourself the extent of the damage? 

You would have then seen and confirmed for yourself that yes, we do NEED HELP and yes, we need practical things like tarpaulins, rakes, shovels, buckets, and lots of washing powder because yes, that is what you need when everything in your house is covered with mud. 

We’re not asking for food handouts because we have wonderful friends and families who rushed to our aid, but practical things such as the items I have mentioned that are most needed to help with the clean-up.

Thank you to the Government Ministries however who helped remove the large logs that piled up around our area and made it look like a war zone area. Faafetai. But I sincerely hope that this letter reaches the attention of those organisations who are supposed to be helping families with cyclone relief goods and services to please do your job properly, update your lists of households in vulnerable areas so that when the next cyclone hits you don’t find yourself asking silly questions at the main road once again and giving out cyclone relief goods and services to households who were not affected. 

This happened before after Cyclone Evan we received nil assistance so unless we suddenly become invisible at these times, whatever system you have there is terribly wrong. 

That’s why I’m writing this letter because I believe it is a real tragedy when we decide to turn the blind eye and play the ignorant card on issues that need to be voiced and addressed for fear of repercussions. 

Please get the help to where it is really needed. Don’t just tick us off to complete your to do list. We are humans, we are Samoans, and God is watching each and every one of us. God bless, Samoa!




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