A father’s struggles

By Nefertiti Matatia ,

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LIFE STRUGGLES: Ioane Tagaloa with his three children in front of their rundown house at Faleasiu.

LIFE STRUGGLES: Ioane Tagaloa with his three children in front of their rundown house at Faleasiu. (Photo: Misiona Simo)

Unemployment has taken its toll on Ioane Tagaloa.

Having no steady water supply, living in a rundown house and having three children to support, are the daily realities of the 39-year-old.

Added to his burdens is his family’s need for a proper toilet.

“We don’t have a toilet. We dig hole everywhere and do our business there and when it’s done, then we bury it.”

“I will not hide or be ashamed of the situation that my family is in. We carry out our business in the bush.”   

“There is nothing that we could do about it because we do not have any money,” he said.

Mr. Tagaloa says they have been living in Faleasiu for 40 years without any access to electricity or a water connection. 

“We have asked the Government that we need water supply to reach our home and we are still waiting.” 

“We received a water tank from the Red Cross people which helps my family a lot. In my family, we do not have much, but we are always trying to look for things such as a torch since the power does not work.”

He also mentioned the unsafe condition of his house. 

“The house that we have, I don’t think anyone can live in there. We are happy now because the sun is out, but when it rains you cannot sit properly.”

“This is a very old house and the iron roofing has rusted. We have reached out to our relatives to help us, but they have not supported us yet.”

Both he and his wife are unemployed. They rely on the land. But what they harvest from the land to sell is not consistent, he says.

“I make the prices of my vegetables really affordable for people because we really need the money. It is hard to plant the vegetables and look after it. It takes a lot of time and so much work.”

“If the vegetable garden is not taken care of properly, then it will die. The bags of cucumber would be $4 and even though we are aware that we are at loss with the prices of our goods, we sell it still.”

Mr. Tagaloa added he always wished for a job.

“I wanted to work both the land and a paid job, so I will be certain that my family is stable.

“I have sent out applications, but up until now, I am still waiting. I have been looking for a job for a very long time because it does not mean that you plant a cucumber today and it will grow tomorrow. It takes time.”

He explained: “All the money that I have is spent on my children, for their food and things that they need in school. I don’t have enough to spend on making a proper home.”

“I don’t want my children to starve. They are already living a hard life.”

They are also in need of pots and plates for their family.

“If you see the plates that we use, you will not even want to use it. It has cracks and nobody would want to put it in their mouth.”

For anyone who is willing to help Mr. Tagaloa’s family, contact the number 7225310 or 7520057.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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