Three Weeks After Quake And Avonsiders Abandoned To Third World Conditions

Today’s Stuff.co.nz is carrying a NZPA article highlighting the plight of a group of Avonside residents who say that, three weeks after the Christchurch 7.1 quake, they feel abandoned by their local council who have left them without basic services. Some say they are living in third world conditions.

They feel so aggrieved by the lack of services that they’ve decided to protest in order to get something done:

About 100 residents gathered in the suburb of Avonside for a rally today as an emotional council water and waste manager Mark Christison explained the council’s position.

The residents of Avonside still can’t use their toilets, showers or wash clothes or dishes.

“There are many who do not qualify for help from local government agencies or the earthquake fund due to massive waiting lists for structural assessments and overloading of current systems,” Ms Wasley said in a letter to Christchurch residents.

“We will not be able to live here while repairs are carried out and cannot afford to pay mortgages and rent somewhere else in the meantime. The bottom line is we have little children in unsafe houses with unfit conditions and we can’t get answers,” Ms Wasley said today.

There were many areas still without sewerage or drainage, some also had no water or power, she said.

The residents said it had been almost a week since they had received a progress report from council… more here

Perhaps if the offer of international help had been accepted when it was offered these residents would now have the basic necessities of life. To have no sanitary facilities, and for children to be living in unfit conditions for so long is completely unacceptable in what is supposed to be a modern, first world country.

The protest was also covered by Jarrod Booker in the Canterbury Star, who revealed that some Housing NZ tenants were living in damaged houses without basic sanitation but were still required to pay rent:

Third World Conditions

Dozens of angry residents have rallied in one of Christchurch’s worst earthquake-hit areas to let the world know their situation is not fixed, and they are still living in “third world” conditions.

About 100 people gathered in a badly cracked, silt-covered cul-de-sac in the suburb of Avonside today to express their frustration at still being in limbo and without basic services 18 days after the devastating 7.1 magnitude quake.

The residents, many Housing New Zealand tenants, are living in cracked and sunken homes, still managing without sewerage and drainage, uncertain about using the water, getting sick from contaminated silt that has come from underground, and worried what their futures hold.

They are upset that the message being sent to the rest of the country is that Christchurch is getting back on its feet when they feel far from it…more here

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