Double refugees settling


After fleeing from their country of Bhutan, a new life in Christchurch held a world of promise for the Kadariya family of Feilding.

The Kadariya family of Feilding have had a long road to get the peace they now enjoy, first seeking refuge in Christchurch from their home country Bhutan, and again from the post-February quake-ravaged Christchurch. They are, from left, Guman Singh Kadariya, Niraj Singh Kadariya, Kubir Singh Kadariya, mother Lila Maya Kadariya and father Karna Bahadur Kadariya.

Now double refugees, the family of five has set up that new life in Manawatu after escaping the relentless shaking in Christchurch, where their home was destroyed.

Speaking to the Manawatu Standard almost a year since February’s earthquake drove them from the city they loved, eldest son Guman Singh Kadariyah said Feilding was much more settled.

“It was sad to leave [Christchurch], it was a beautiful city, but it had become quite scary,” he said.

The family had lived in the north-eastern suburb of Dallington since they left Bhutan on April 24, 2009.

“We stayed after the September earthquake, because we were all told that that was the big one and there would be no more after that.

“But when the big one happened in February, there was liquefaction everywhere and we were told we could no longer live in our house.”

Liquefaction occurs when ground shaking drives water to the surface.

Their suburb, like many others, was left without power, and the magnitude of the destruction and loss of life was not immediately clear to them.

Guman was in the CBD when the 6.3 magnitude quake struck at 12.51pm February 22 last year, but his parents were home and afraid.

He said he was worried as they spoke little English and may not have been able to ask for help.

The family spent four days at a temporary camp set up at Burnside High School.

“It was wonderful having a place like that. There were other members of the Bhutanese community there and it wasn’t so bad for a little while.”

They spent a month in Auckland with other family members, but thought it too big, and hoped to move to Hamilton. Refugee Services there was unable to take Bhutanese refugees, and they were told of the large Bhutanese community in Palmerston North and Feilding.

Guman and his middle brother Kubir Sing, both attend UCOL. Youngest brother Ninaj Singh is a student at Feilding High School. Parents Lila Maya and Karna Bahadur attend an English Language Partners course in Feilding.

Source : Fairfax NZ News