This week the Italian government published ‘official’ statistics on the number of people still unable to move back home and living in some form of temporary accommodation. The figures are hotly debated in Abruzzo, many holding that they are considerably lower than the true number of people seeking a way to return to their former lives before the earthquake struck. What all these people require is a timeline as to when their house will be repaired or viable housing set up, beyond the collection of ice-cream coloured pre-fab bungalows put up in the middle of… nowhere.
The story of L’Aquila should be kept in the news and pressure applied onto both local Abruzzo and Italy’s national governing bodies for restoring or offering serious, viable alternatives in housing for the people whose homes have been completely lost. Drifting & corruption issues haven’t got 48,810 people who were assisted away from their L’Aquila homes still very far in the past year apart from the erection of wall-to-wall scaffolding, whilst 16,641 have been re-housed at this time in temporary accommodation.
You don’t need to be a descendant or have even visited L’Aquila or one of the local villages to support the rebuild; yes it is in a developed country within Europe, but in the same way that we support NGOs rebuilding developing nations the same support & pressure on the Italian government to keep their promise should be applied to L’Aquila.
Recently one of Life in Abruzzo’s Canadian readers, the poet & Romantic Fantasy author Denysé Bridger, a self-confessed “happy Italophile bedazzled by its magic, beauty, and culture”, wrote to us asking what she could do to help one year on; she hadn’t been to L’Aquila but she did care about its people. In a world burdened by economic downturn one great thing that can be utilised is trading on one’s own skills, in Denysé’s case her writing and fan base. We asked her to write & research L’Aquila from an outsider’s perspective, and help remind those who have possibly lost touch with this Italian city’s & region’s plight what happened subsequent to the 2009 earthquake, and how they can help in persuading the Italian government to deliver real homes in a timely, organised and legal fashion.
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