Relief efforts for Samoa continue throughout territory
Donations from residents, schools and organizations were included in the third shipment from the American Samoa Government, organized by the Governor’s Office, which continues to collect relief donations and supplies for the cyclone which hit Samoa.
Samoa's Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi has publicly thanked the people and government of American Samoa for the first shipment that arrived two weekends ago in Apia — two days after Cyclone Evan, which claimed the lives of five people with ten still reported missing, and millions of dollars in damage.
The latest shipment, the third one, left last Friday afternoon on board the MV Lady Naomi. Government crew were seen on the dock packing pallets for the shipment, which included bottled water, canned food, clothing, blankets and other items.
One of the latest donors was Coleman Elementary School, whose students made a personal trip to the Executive Office Building to make the presentation, and there was also a donation from a local business towards the government’s efforts.
In a statement over the weekend, the Samoa government said the 19 pallets on board the Lady Naomi that left here Friday afternoon had arrived in Apia.
The statement also said that a fundraising drive in American Samoa organized by Bluesky has reached its US$10,000 target. The company will match the US$10,000 and use the funds to purchase ‘top priority’ items — in cooperation with the Disaster Management Office in Apia — and send the shipments over each week for the next fortnight.
Also onboard last Friday’s Lady Naomi sail were four pallets of tuna products from StarKist Samoa as part of the cannery’s relief effort to the Samoa government. (See Saturday edition for more details on the StarKist donation.)
Besides these cyclone relief shipments from ASG and StarKist, the Lady Naomi was packed with a lot of relief supplies from individuals for their families in Apia, as well as cargo for the Christmas holiday. The Lady Naomi was also booked solid with passengers.
Finau Brown, a native of Siusega village in Samoa, said he was very happy that he, his wife and children, were able to secure seats on board the Lady Naomi for travel to Apia for the holidays, taking “fa’amomoli” (gifts and supplies), for the family in Samoa.
The busy inter island dock for the Lady Naomi kept downtown traffic crowded for several hours on Friday.
Meanwhile, the Chamber of Chamber and the local unit of the American Red Cross are holding separate relief drives but will coordinate with each other as well. The Red Cross announced last week that three fund raising stations have been set up on Tutuila and the sites are Cost-U-Less; KS Mart and Laufou Shopping center. Donations are also accepted at the Red Cross office in Tafuna.
The second shipment from ASG arrived early last week in Apia on board the Fotu-O-Samoa vessel. Tuilaepa’s office said this shipment of 10 pallets included bottled water, dry foods, cereals, milk, clothing and sundries. An additional seven pallets of bottled water, food and other supplies were brought over on the same trip organized by Bluesky Communications.
Tuilaepa said in a statement soon after the first shipment that the “consignment, which arrived immediately after Cyclone Evan had just passed over, was very timely. It was exactly the sort of supplies that we urgently needed.”
He made similar comments to a KVZK-TV crew who were in Apia early last week to report on cyclone damage to Samoa. The KVZK-TV interview with Tuilaepa was aired in its entirety last Friday evening, where the Prime Minister expressed his sincere appreciation to the people and government of American Samoa for their continued support of Samoa.
He said an official statement on the ASG donation was also made in Parliament and took the opportunity on KVZK-TV to wish all of American Samoa a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.