We are into the second week of 2018 and yet families who live up at Falemauga, Aleisa, still struggle with water and poor road conditions.
Puniala Lupe’s family is just one of those plagued by this unpleasant ordeal.
The Village Voice team visited the area and met the father of six doing his daily chores at home. He says they have lived in the area since 2010 and it is now 2018 and they still face the same challenges.
“The first problem is having no water,” the 42-year-old said.
“You see we have been struggling with this problem for so long and we still haven’t got an answer from the Water authority.
“As we all know water is life, so if there’s no water, there is no life.
“We were told that there will be a survey that will come around this area but that was how many moons ago and it’s 2018 and we haven’t seen any survey or any people from the authority around our area.”
Mr. Lupe said when the rainy season ends, things become even harder.
“We have to go through families down the mainland to fetch water,” he said.
“The water tank that you can see, I have to call the water truck to come and fill it up so that we can survive.
“And even with the water truck, it’s not free, it cost me $300 to fill it all the way to the top.
“I’m a taxi driver, but even with the taxi it does not belong to me, it belongs to someone else, so I’m just a driver.
“And we all know there is a turn in for as well and for me, my turn is $300 a week.
“So if I have to request for the water truck, then that means I would have to look for $600 in just that week to pay for the water truck and my turn in.
“For me and my family when I’m done with all that I need to pay, we will be left with just $50 a week and that is what we have to deal with all the time.
“It’s a struggle stretching $50 especially with my six children and their school; it’s a miracle to even make it to the next week.
“But I truly believe that we are able to make it through because of the grace of God.
“It’s a struggle every day and so that is why I am urging the government to please look into this, we need water.
“Life is hard as it is and having no access to water and spending $300 just to get water for us is just another burden.”
The second problem that Mr. Lupe talked about is the poor road condition.
“The road is just very bad,” he said.
“I truly believe this is the government’s responsibility to have these roads fixed.
“It’s so bad that it ruins our vehicles and if our vehicles are damaged, then that’s more money spent.
“We have put in a request so many times and yet nothing has been done.
“The question is who do we run to with our problems that concern them?
“These are the things that they should be looking at and yet only words, but nothing has been done.
“Like I said before, we are already struggling with the cost of living and everything else, why do you have to add another problem on top?
“If the government won’t help, then who will?
“We are the people of Samoa and that means our needs should be put first before anything else.
“The people are what make a country.”