Palisi mother tells of their struggles

By Nefertiti Matatia ,

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LIFE IS HARD: There are 15 people living in this house.

LIFE IS HARD: There are 15 people living in this house.

Being a mother of six without a job is hard.

Telesia Seumanutafa from Palisi knows this very well.

Living in a rundown shack with 15 other people and being surrounded by puddles and debris, she lives a tough life.

Her main concern is the welfare of her children.

“There are two families that live here, me and my aunty. In this same house. She has five children and I have six children,” she said.

“We have been living here for 3 years now.”

Being close to the Apia Township has its advantages but they still need help. 

“We really need a house. We are planning to build our own house but there is a major delay because there is no money,” she said.

She said they have the basic utilities.

 “The tap works and there is power but there is only one meter that we are sharing with our neighbours. We really need help.

“At the end of every month we all have to chip in money to pay for the bill.”

The condition of their house is not safe; they use plastic covers as tarpaulins to block the rain out.

“There are so many things that need to be fixed in our house such as the foundation, the materials used to make the house is plywood.

IN NEED OF HELP: Telesia and her child seek assistance.
IN NEED OF HELP: Telesia and her child seek assistance.

“Plywood is not safe because it slowly rots when it gets wet and the house is at risk of collapsing if a cyclone hits.

“It is not safe for the young children as well when they are leaning on the fence of the house because there is a possibility that they could fall out.”

Mrs. Seumanutafa added that the location of their house is another problem, they are always surrounded by mud and puddles whenever it rains.

 “Since we live so closely with one family to the other and we live on high land, whenever it rains it carries the rubbish from one family to our home.

“It is very disturbing because it carries debris from one side then it comes to where we sleep, where we eat and make food,” she said.

She says it is an unhealthy environment that they are living in but there is nothing that could be done because of poverty.

Since they live on leased land there are many other families that they live with in the same area.

Her problems do not end there.

Telesia adds that they need financial help.

There is only one person that works to provide for their family and that is her husband, but having one person that works is never enough, she said.

“We have three children that are still in school. I cannot go to work because there is nobody to leave my younger children with.

“My aunt has her own children to look after and it is not her responsibility, it is mine. She has her own problems too.” 

For anyone that is willing to help Telesia and her family contact this number 7246636.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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