Money woes and one family’s struggles

By Nefertiti Matatia ,

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LIFE IS HARD: Palepoa is in need of a water tank and help with his house.

LIFE IS HARD: Palepoa is in need of a water tank and help with his house. (Photo: Nefertiti Matatia)

It is said that money does not buy happiness, but it surely can help make life easier. 

For Palepoa Taimalie, money can make his daily life a little less stress and struggle free. 

The unemployed father of four from the village of Aleisa, Sasa’e lives in a shack with no water or electricity.

Palepoa lives with his 82-year-old mother. There are six people who live under a house with its roof leaking heavily when it rains. 

He said the solution is money. The Village Voice team found him in his house taking a break after working their land. 

“The floor of our house isn’t cemented. It is made out of rocks and stones that we found around the area. We have nowhere else to live, so we just try and live within our means.” 

“This land that we live on does not belong to us, but the people who we knew offered us the land to stay on while they look for a buyer,” said the 48-year-old.

They have no water supply, so they rely heavily on rainwater, but when there’s no rain, the only solution is their neighbour’s water source. 

“We are thankful for our neighbours. They are our biggest help at the moment. If there is anything that we would need and we would ask, they give it to us.” 

“With electricity, we are using what our ancestors used during ancient times. We rely on the moon for light and mostly kerosene lamp in the night.”

Without any proper kitchen area, they place their plates and cooking materials not far from where they sleep in their house. 

Palepoa Taimalie
Palepoa Taimalie

Everything he used for his house was from people who knew about his daily struggles. 

“Life is just something else. If there was another word that is worse than hard, then I would have used that term already.”

“Every day is a struggle but we have to keep on moving forward.”

“I used to work and live in the property that I was looking after up at Fiaga. For three years I was there and it was time for me to resign and part of my resignation was to leave the house too.”

“I lived there for three years with my whole family, my children and my elderly mother.” 

He is seeking for assistance for a water tank and iron roofing.

He says having only one person who work does not make the cut, especially with two children attending school.

“My son is the only person who works, while I work the land so that we would be able to have some food. I am doing this just for the mean time, so there is no shortage of food supply.”

“As long as there is taro and tea for dinner, then we would definitely make it through to the next day. I know that my son’s pay is not enough that is why I would look for a job after our house is fixed.”

“I have two daughters who are in school. It was just recently that we had to break their money box. We had no money so they had no choice but to open it up so they could have bus fare for school,” he said.

For anyone who is willing to help Palepoa Taimalie, contact the number 7731210.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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