Storing rainwater for food, drinking and other needs has been a long-standing chore for Sau Lui of Tiavi.
The 51-year-old father was clearing debris from Tropical Cyclone Gita on his taro plantation when the Village Voice team visited his farm.
As one of the few families that live next to the steep Tiavi road, Sau said they had access to the Government’s water supply.
“However it sometimes has dirt and trash in it so we never use it for food and drinking, we rely on the rain for that.
“This is a daily struggle for us and as you can see from the pots we have lined up here, this is where we store our water because we cannot afford a water tank.”
Asked whether they had filed a complaint with the Samoa Water Authority, Sau said they had not.
“We have lived here for 23 years and it took 11 years before the water could reach our area.
“Can you imagine if we had filed a complaint about dirty water, it would probably take another few years before we would get clean water.
“I am thankful we have steady supply of government water but it’s just not good for cooking and drinking,” said Sau.
He said recently a centipede came through their water pipe and that was just after the storm.
“So again we are thankful that we do have water supply, but it is not safe to drink or for cooking food,” he said.
The father of two and his wife live off what they earn from their plantation but the recent cyclone has left them in a state of a limbo.
“We are hoping for some assistance from the Government most especially for us farmers who rely solely on our produce; after all we play a huge role in the boosting of Samoa’s economy, in terms of our goods being exported overseas.
“Although my family is not part of the program, my point is the Government should offer some financial assistance to help us get back on our feet, I’m sure they can afford it,” he said.
Sau is a strong believer that education is the key to a successful life and that is why all the money he gets goes to paying tuition for his two daughters.
“One is a scholar in China and has been there for three years, you see our house it is barely a house.
“However all the money my wife and I get, we save it for their schooling.
“I did not finish my education and look at the life I have now, I don’t want my daughters to live like me that is why we invest in their future.
“My youngest daughter goes to Manumalo, and as expensive and far as it is, as a father who grew up in a poor family, I want them to have better lives in the future.
“And this to me is the true meaning of unconditional love.
“I would rather eat canned food all year long, and pay off my daughter’s tuition.
“I also invest in chemicals that help with my farm to assure I get top quality taro that will attract buyers,” he added.
If you want to help Sau with his plea for a water tank, you can reach him on 7200322.