As the low income earning families in Samoa struggled with the economic impact of the COVID pandemic, the flooding caused by heavy rain across the country over the week makes matters even worst.
This was the assessment by the Samoa Victim Support Group when its members visited some of these families around the outskirt of Apia, and the rural Upolu, over the last couple of days.
SVSG’s toll free Help Line number 800-7874 have been busy, with most of the families calling in for clothes, food and even clean water. These were the same families that the Group have assisted as part of its COVID relief operation.
The situation is even more acute because of school closures for the Christmas holidays, meaning children are home; the houses were covered with mud from the flooding. As such, dry and clean clothes, linen were amongst the priority needs, so as food and clean water.
SVSG managed to put together relief packages including food, water and clothing and distributed to more than 40 families immediately after the flooding; covering 9 villages at the outskirt of Apia, and 7 villages further out in the rural Upolu.
Majority of the family members are children hence bags of cloths and linen benefited close to 200 children, including children with disabilities.
Of great concern to SVSG is the risk of mental health affecting the older members of these families, as parents struggled with poverty, social, economic and physical environment they now live in, during this Christmas period.
The relief packages being distributed is SVSG’s way of reaching out, and supporting the mental and wellbeing of the most vulnerable members of our community.
SVSG President Siliniu Lina Change therefore acknowledges with gratitude and appreciation the funding support from the High Commission of Canada in New Zealand through the Canada Fund for Local Initiative (CFLI), which is now making Christmas a bit more brighter for the vulnerable families from the flooding over the last week.