Yes, living by a landfill is as ghastly as it sounds, but when people start turning your village into a landfill as well due to the absence of government rubbish trucks, the suffering only gets worse.
For concerned father, Tuto’atasi Ofisa, from the village of Nu’u, his concerns are about his family’s health.
Aged 54, Tuto’atasi tasi says that living the way they do is simply not right and when they have problems such as fires at the Tafaigata landfill, then simply staying at home becomes a health hazard.
“My family have lived here for three years now,” he told the Village Voice.
“My duty as a father is to protect my children so it concerns me every time they burn the rubbish at Tafaigata landfill.
“The landfill has burnt a few times and it’s not healthy for the families living around here, even if it’s just a small fire, I fear for the health of the children.”
The concerned father compared the most recent landfill fire similar to the smell of something dead.
“The last time the landfill was burning we kept wondering where it was coming from,” Tuto’atasi said.
“The smoke was everywhere and the smell was just unbearable. When a breeze hit’s us then the smell was like something died nearby.
“We feel like no one is helping us at all.”
Tuto’atasi also explained another problem their village faces. Without any rubbish trucks visiting their village, people have begun turning the area into another landfill.
“Another problem families in my village face is that the rubbish trucks don’t come our way,” he said.
“Without any proper way of getting rid of rubbish, people are starting to carelessly pile their rubbish everywhere around the village.
“It’s a very ugly site for us. They just throw their rubbish at the side areas of the village; it makes our village look like a place where dirty people live.”
Villagers are forced to get accustomed with foul smells because they have no other choice.
“Living like this is not healthy and we need a way to clean everything up,” Tuto’atasi said.
“Some people from other villages come and just chuck their rubbish everywhere around our village and we suffer from the lack of common sense in others.
“We get hit by the smell of rubbish piles everywhere around the village. When the wind blows our way then we have to deal with the odor.”
The concerned father blames the carelessness of people saying that everyone should start being mindful of others.
“The thing with the problems I’ve mentioned to you is, it’s adults who do it,” he said.
“It makes me wonder if they have any brains because they do these things and they are affecting families all over our village.
“Those with cars are the ones who normally drive by and dump their rubbish around our village. They know that what they are doing is wrong yet they still do it.
“If you ask other families around here they will tell you the same thing. We do need help from the government with the landfill and the lack of rubbish truck problems.
“We need rubbish trucks to transport the rubbish from our village so it doesn’t pile up anymore.”