Resilience while having no water

By Vatapuia Maiava and Deidre Fanene ,

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 WE SUFFER A LOT BUT LIFE IS STILL GREAT: Positive Utumapu La’asia Faimalo Iosia, 56, from the village of Tufulele.

WE SUFFER A LOT BUT LIFE IS STILL GREAT: Positive Utumapu La’asia Faimalo Iosia, 56, from the village of Tufulele.

Water and road problems in Samoa have been a hindrance for villagers for quite a while now and something needs to be done about it.

That’s according to Utumapu La’asia Faimalo Iosia, from the village of Tufulele, where he has grown tired of watching his fellow villagers struggle to look for water.

The hard-working farmer says that life is almost perfect for him in his village if it weren’t for the water and road issues.

“Life is great; everything is great, except for those two things,” Utumapu told the Village Voice.

“One of the issues we have in the village is the water. The water pipes doesn’t reach our area; they stop just down the road over there.

“Many families moving inland have no water. It has been a problem here in our village for quite a while now.”

Having no water is nothing new for Utumapu though; in fact, it has been a problem in the area for over 10 years now.

“We haven’t had water for that long,” he said.

“Many families have to walk with wheelbarrows full of buckets to fetch water for their families. We have requested a pipe to stretch back to these houses but it’s not that easy.

“Without water, days become almost unbearable.”

And with the dusty road making travelling difficult, Utumapu hopes that one day it will be fixed.

“Our road is in such a bad state and it affects so many lives,” he said.

“Only as you get closer to the coastal road, you will find tar-seal.  But over here, all we have is just dusty roads which make life harder.

“Those are the only two main issues we face here in our village.”

On the other hand, Utumapu says that everything else is great. There is little worry when it comes to food because he has worked hard to grow all he needs.

 “I have a few cows and pigs here in my land. I also have a pretty big plantation at the back with taro and koko growing in it.

“We have a lot of food because we work hard to grow it. Here in Samoa, if you don’t work, you won’t eat. There are many families in this country who rely on seasonal crops.

“But that’s not wise because when it’s off-season then they won’t get anything.”

And just like the old saying goes, “you don’t eat if you don’t work.”

“Every family is responsible for themselves,” Utumapu said.

“The only reason why there is trouble within a family is because they let it happen. For me personally, I know that if I work hard then I won’t have any worries about food.

“People suffer from hunger because they refuse to do the work. I earn some money from selling my crops and I cover all my needs and obligations with that.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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