9 Oct 2009

Oxfam fears Samoa rebuilding to take a year

2:17 pm on 9 October 2009

A water and sanitation engineer assisting the victims of the tsunami in Samoa says it's likely to be 12 months before the villagers are permanently rehoused.

Dave Neru of Oxfam New Zealand says with the wet season approaching, the people displaced by the disaster and now sheltering under tarpaulins, will be helped to build traditional plantation fales.

He says this will be an interim measure but better help people withstand the wet season.

"We are working with the communities and giving them more suitable accommodation to live in in their areas, and at the same time looking at the sanitation, the water needs, of those individuals and individual cluster of families within an area. That's what we are doing because the reconstruction is going to take some time. The wet season is going to realistically hold up any major developments."

Oxfam's Dave Neru says there are hopes that the roofs of the fales can have corrugated iron to allow the harvesting of rain water.