Struggles of having no land, no power and no water

By Vatapuia Maiava and Ilia L. Likou ,

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NOT HAVING THE BASICS OF LIFE IS VERY HARD TO LIVE WITH: Sa’ena Auano, 51, from the village of Falelauniu

NOT HAVING THE BASICS OF LIFE IS VERY HARD TO LIVE WITH: Sa’ena Auano, 51, from the village of Falelauniu

Sa’ena Auano’s struggles are real.  From the village of Falelauniu, he and his family struggle with having no land, no water and no electricity.

Having no land to call his own, Sa’ena’s family looks after a piece of land for another family and dreads the day when their service is no longer needed.

He said that even though they don’t have electricity as well, it’s not a major concern for him because they have lanterns they can use.

Sa’ena’s wife is currently working with a weekly pay of $120 while he goes around with his lawn mower looking for anyone who wishes to accept his land cleaning services.

With the front of their house littered with water drums and buckets for water storage, Sa’ena says the biggest concern for his family is having no water.

“Right now, we don’t have any water pipes coming to our house,” Sa’ena told the Village Voice.

“In order to get by on a day to day basis, we have to go to our neighbours to ask for some water. If there’s one thing our family really needs it’s a source of water.

“We have water drums which we try and fill up with our buckets but its not easy living this way because the water is not clean.”

The family on the other side of the road lends their water pipe for Sa’ena’s family to use but it comes at a price. “Between my family and the family across the road, we share their water pipe,” he said.

“The only problem is that when the water bill comes, we have to pay majority of it because it’s their pipe. That’s why we’re trying our best to pull a water pipe to our house.

“My only concern is my children who are schooling and the food we cook. Water is needed for cooking and if the water isn’t clean then it’s a health risk.”

According to Sa’ena, even having a water pipe doesn’t guarantee reliable water.

“We also don’t have electricity but that’s not a problem for us because we can always use a kerosene lantern,” he said.

“Water is the main issue that we aim to fix because it’s an everyday necessity. Even though we share the water pipe with our neighbour, this village has constant water cuts so a lot of the times my husband and I would go out with the wheel barrow to look for water.

“Its hard work going around looking for water with our buckets but it’s a must if we want our children to have water to use.”

Not owning the land also proved a hindrance when requesting help from the Samoa Water Authority.

“We requested the assistance of the water authority office but the problem is, we don’t own this land,” Sa’ena said.

“My family is actually taking care of it for another family and they wouldn’t give us a note to pull the pipes. So our next plan is to get a water tank.

“Don’t get me wrong, we are still going to try and save up enough get our own pipes and when the family decides to come and use the land for a business then at least we have helped them with a water pipe.”

Furthermore, Sa’ena isn’t ashamed to admit that his family is in need of help.

“Right now I am desperately searching for a piece of land to call our own,” he said.

“It’s not easy but I am trying my best for the sake of my children. If someone comes and evicts us then we have no option at all but to leave. “It’s a very stressful way to live. I am not ashamed to admit that we need help from anyone who can give it. If not then we will still try our best.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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