Hardship, struggles and poverty have taken a toll on Masoli Tuisamoataupau.
He wishes for nothing more than to have a proper toilet for his family, especially his seven children.
The 47-year-old from Aleisa said the poor condition of their toilet is a health threat to his family.
“The smell and the flies are the biggest problem that we face from not having a proper toilet. If I earn enough money, I would have fixed it. We really need a toilet.”
“We cannot avoid different illnesses if the toilet that we are using is the cause of it all. I have to be mindful of other people as well. Flies carry around diseases and I don’t want to be the cause of that,” he said.
Their pit toilet is located next to their plantation.
“I reckon that the toilet is the main priority for us at the moment. We are planning to relocate the toilet and also our water pipes, but it all depends on the money that we make. But we don’t have money.”
“We really need a toilet that we are able to flush, that way there would be no smell and it avoids the flies as well,” he added.
There are only two people who work in their family; it is just him and his son.
He works the land and together with his son, they look after the land that they live in.
However, the money that they receive is never enough to afford a new bathroom.
“We have been living here for one year. We used to live in Saleaumua but we have moved to an area that is closer to town so that my children can have a better future.”
“The income that we make a week is not enough because there are so many of us and also on the other hand, I have two children in school, and they attend primary school.”
He added they have cut down many big trees around their homes for safety measures.
“The house is still in good condition, it was very stable during TC Gita, and another issue that we have is that we don’t have any mattress which is another thing that we need.”
Mr. Tuisamoataupau shared to the Village Voice team the cost of living, saying it has become unbearable.
“If people do not work they will not earn anything in life, I have to be strong right now despite my age because my family depends on me to work the land for them to have a home and something to eat.”
“We would only have to stop working when we die. If we become sick, it is the only time we would be able to take a break from our work, but working is a good exercise for me as well.”