The number of the year might have changed but for many of the poorest families in Samoa today, the struggles with basic needs remain.
Such is the story of 65-year-old Fau Ropati of Fasitoo-Uta.
Ms. Ropati is a mother of nine and her eldest son lives with a disability. The most difficult challenge is not having a steady supply of water.
“It’s hard living without water, especially when we are far away from the main land which takes about an hour walk to reach there to collect water,” she said.
“My husband and I got married in 1968 and then we had our eldest son who is now 47 and we still live here together because he cannot walk.”
“That’s also the number of years that we have been carrying this great burden.”
“My children now have families of their own, we are grandparents and great grandparents and yet we are still living like this.”
“As you can see we have a sick son who is unable to walk and his condition is very critical, he has to eat morning, afternoon and in the evening and he needs a bath all the time too.”
“My husband and I are old as well; we are not the same in terms of strength, so it’s hard for us to walk a long way.”
Ms. Ropati says water is a necessity.
“We have a water tank that was donated by the Red Cross for my sick son,” she said.
“It helps in times of rainy days, but when it’s a sunny day, that’s when we struggle so badly.”
“We haven’t asked the government, but we have asked our Member of Parliament and he told us before the election that if he does win, he will help us with our problem and we will have access to water.”
“However, up until now nothing has been done it’s just promises after another and yet nothing has been done.”
Asked how they fetch water, she said they pay $100 for a truck to deliver water.
“This truck comes through Aleisa and we pay $100 in order to get water,” she said.
“But even that truck coming for one round is just not enough, it will only fill the water tank and not the other gallons.”
“Most times we tell the truck driver to deliver water three times a week and that’s $300 for the three trips.”
“However, there is nothing we can do we need water.”
“Nobody works in our family, but we have a plantation that helps us and then my children overseas they help us when we call them.”
“But I don’t want to keep on calling them because I know that they are struggling just as much as we are here, but at least with us we can turn to our plantation.”
“If we spend $300 on the water truck then we eat just the faalifu and laumoli that week it’s just real struggle.”
“Life is so hard but we thank God for His love and guidance that we are able to get by every day.”
“We are living by the grace of God.”
If you are willing to help the Ropati family, please contact them on cell phone number 7796138/7240289.