They’re ignoring our cry for help

An elderly couple has spoken up about how the government is still ignoring their cry for help to rebuild their home that was destroyed by Cyclone Evans in 2012.

Sale and Leata Petersen said that they are tired of waiting.

“The whole front part of our house has gone thanks to Cyclone Evan,” said Mr. Petersen.

“We were only left with just the back of our house and that is what we have been using from 2012 till now.

“We have been contacting the government officials who are dealing with these kind of problems but they told us to be patient, they are working on it.

“From 2012 till now 2016, and look at the condition of our home?  Still no improvement and up until now, all the government is telling us is to be patient.”

Mrs. Petersen said they have been patient for four years now and it seems like their cry for help is being ignored by the government.

“We see that there have been some nice buildings going up that cost millions of tala and when we ask other people they say they were built by the government,” she said.

“Our home is not going to cost them $50,000 tala and yet we have been waiting for four years.”

Mrs. Petersen went on to say that they know life is hard but the government could’ve at least provided them a straight answer to what is happening with the rebuilding of their home.

“They (government) should not only be focusing on the development in the town area, but they should be looking at ways to help us who are in the rural areas as well,” she said.

“We are also part of the community and we are also citizens of this country too.

“We have children overseas who are helping us out but the damage to our home was not done by any of us, it was a natural disaster that caused this so I believe that they should be able to help us as soon as possible.

“Our home is not safe anymore and I assure you that when another cyclone hits us we will have no more home and that’s how dangerous it is to continue living in here.

“Even this part of the house that we are in, we only use it in the morning but no one sleeps here at night because as you can see the poles are not straight and it is not safe for us to stay in it.”

With that in mind, Mrs. Petersen said at the moment they are just waiting for the day their home falls apart.

“We don’t know what else to do. We don’t know who to go to now because we have been everywhere but we still receive the same answer; that we have to be patient and wait,” she said.

“I think no matter how much we complain and say this and that, they (government) are not going to do anything so we have given up because for four years we have been crying for help and yet nothing is being done.

“We don’t see any progress with our home.”

The elderly couple said that they understand life is hard but the government should really make an effort in support the families who are living in the rural areas.

“The government kept saying that there is no hardship in Samoa but that’s because they are living in the town area where everything has been upgraded,” said Mr. Petersen.

“They should come here to the rural areas. This is where the hardship occurs because most families here depend on their plantation to survive.

“It is very hard to get by each and every day if we have a fa’alifu and koko Samoa for the day that is more than enough for us to survive on and that happens to all other families here in the rural area.

“Government has no idea how hard it is for us to get by each and every day. But that’s how life is and I guess we will never know when our home will be done. 

“We will just depend on God to help us get by every day.”

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