The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Jason Garman,, tel +64 (0)9 358 5902,
mob +64 (0)21 202 5096

Samoa Tsunami: People Staying Away from Devastated Villages

Oxfam helping shocked survivors


International agency
Oxfam's emergency team is at work in Samoa today responding to urgent
needs. The immediate focus is to ensure survivors in remote rural areas
have clean water and basic sanitation.

Without coordinated action the public health situation is at risk of
deteriorating if people become dehydrated and sickness spreads through
an already traumatized population.

Oxfam has worked for the past eight years alongside its Samoan
partner organization, Women in Business Development Inc. (WIBDI), who
operate in 150 rural villages across Samoa, supporting a range of
community-based projects aimed at alleviating poverty, creating
sustainable village economies and revitalizing the agricultural sector.

"People are staying away from devastated villages today. They're
still in shock and a lot are not ready to start again," said Oxfam aid
worker Janna Hamilton. "Many survivors are wearing face masks due to
the strong smell of dead fish and washed up vegetation lying all over
the roads and in the remnants of houses," she added.

"Right now we are concerned for the urgent health needs," said
Janna. "But we are committed to the long-haul. We will be helping
rebuild their homes and livelihoods, and ensuring communities become
more resilient to future disasters."

"One man told me he lost his shop, his home and he can't get to his
taro farm anymore. He can no longer support his family," said Janna.
"Once the immediate danger has passed, we need to help these people get
back on their feet."

This disaster is one of the largest Samoa has ever experienced.
Oxfam is calling on the public to respond generously to their appeals
for funds.

Contact information

For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Jason Garman,, tel +64 (0)9 358 5902, mob +64 (0)21 202 5096


Please help. These Oxfam affiliates have launched direct appeals:

Alternatively, please consider making a donation to the general emergency fund of your nearest national Oxfam affiliate. Your money will be used to fund our emergency work worldwide.

Read more

More about our work in Samoa

How we work in Emergencies

Oxfam International is a global movement of people who are fighting inequality to end poverty and injustice. We are working across regions in about 70 countries, with thousands of partners, and allies, supporting communities to build better lives for themselves, grow resilience and protect lives and livelihoods also in times of crisis.