A family’s struggle even with a water tank

By Ulimasao Fata ,

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NEED CONSISTENT WATER SUPPLY: Mana’o Epati talks about water issues.

NEED CONSISTENT WATER SUPPLY: Mana’o Epati talks about water issues.

Even a water tank does not solve our water problems.

Mana’o Epati, a 56-year-old father of four from Aleisa and Faleasi’u says this is an issue that still haunts them to this day.

Mr. Epati relies on his plantation to support his family. 

“The only major problem here with us is water because the government water supply does not reach us,” he said. 

“We have been living in this area for almost 30 years now and yet we still don’t have running water from our government.

“We moved here in 1989 and up to now we still don’t have water.”

Mr. Epati says despite owning a water tank, it still does not solve the problems they face.

“It took me years to save money to buy this water tank because we couldn’t get any help from the government,” he said. 

“It was just 2015 when I went and bought this water tank for $500 and the installation was all free.

“It is good that we have a water tank, but the only issue is that it does not rain every day.

“We still collect water from families around the coastal area when we run out of water.”

Mr. Epati says he and his wife don’t work and this was an added burden for their family.

“Life is really hard here because our plantation is the only way we earn to support our family and children.

“While school is due to start soon, we are trying to earn money to buy stationaries and uniforms.”

He said most of their earnings are spent on trying to address their water woes.

“We spend so much money trying to collect water to store in our water tank.

“We really need running water because we are done struggling without it,” Mr. Epati added. 

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