Reality for family living without electricity

By Vatapuia Maiava ,

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IT’S NOT EASY LIVING WITHOUT ELECTRICITY: Ulugia Fa’alavelave Ah Lam, from the village of Tapatapao.

IT’S NOT EASY LIVING WITHOUT ELECTRICITY: Ulugia Fa’alavelave Ah Lam, from the village of Tapatapao.

Living without electricity may seem horrible in this day and age.

But according to Ulugia Fa’alavelave Ah Lam, that is their reality every day.

The man from Tapatapao told of their struggles during an interview with the Village Voice yesterday.

Rushing chores, rushing dinner and making sure everything is ready for bed before the sun sets is a routine for Ulugia and his family.

To make matters worse, the road to his house has no street lights leaving the area pitch black at night.

Aside from the lack of power lines in the area, Ulugia admits another reason they live without power is because they simply cannot afford it.

“The one issue we have been living with is no electricity in our area because there aren’t any power lines,” he said.

“We have lived here for a while now and we have been going on day after day in the dark. We lived elsewhere before, but then decided to move here, but if I were to speak, honestly, we can’t afford power.

“It’s not easy living this way, but we do our best to take care of ourselves through our plantation. That’s the main source of our income.”

Asked about their daily routine, Ulugia explained that everyday tasks are limited to the availability of sunlight.

“If you look along our road, we don’t have any streetlights,” he said.

IT’S NOT EASY LIVING WITHOUT ELECTRICITY: Ulugia Fa’alavelave Ah Lam's house at Tapatapao.
IT’S NOT EASY LIVING WITHOUT ELECTRICITY: Ulugia Fa’alavelave Ah Lam's house at Tapatapao.

“This is another issue because at night time, the area is pitch black. We have to quickly do the cooking for dinner while the sun is still out so we can make use of that light.

“We also prepare our beds and places for the children to sleep before the daylight ends because when we miss that light, then it’s very tough to do anything at night.”

Ulugia added they also struggled because of their home structure. He explains they try their best to build a better life, but it’s tough without any formal employment and living solely from what they can make from the land.

“If you look at the house we are living in, you will see that the floor isn’t even cemented,” he said.

“We have placed layers and layers of cardboards to try and separate us from the ground. I tell you that it’s really not easy and we are trying our best.

“We scrape whatever money we can to pay for our daily needs, but this struggle is something that we, and others living in the area, face every day.

“Our house may not seem like much, but it is all we can afford at this point.”

He says he fears for his children’s health because of their living condition.

“We are also afraid of the dengue fever going around because living in an open house leaves us exposed,” Ulugia said.

“I am just thankful to the Lord that none of my children are sick at the moment. I am also thankful that even without power; we still have running water thanks to S.W.A.

“This is the reality many of us live with.”

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