Having no running water is bad enough for any family, but if you have no food because your crops need water too, that’s another story.
For Sasa’e Foliga, 61, from the village of Leulumoega-Uta, life isn’t easy being a farmer. His only concern is that his crops can’t grow without water and with no water pipes near his house, he will have to add no food to the list.
Every day without water is a struggle for Sasa’e.
“We are very far from the main water pipes which is a big issue for us out here,” he told the Village Voice.
“I have to walk long distances every day to fetch water; I am lucky for my neighbor’s car who gives me a ride every now and then.
“We live so far inland and we rely heavily on plantations but with no running water, there is no point at all for our plantation. Crops need water to grow and we can go long periods of time without rain.”
According to Sasa’e, his plantation is his family’s only way of life and they rely on nothing else.
“I recently moved here because there is a lot of land,
“Since I have no job I thought that I should find other ways to provide for my family so that’s why I really need this plantation. I can see now that without water, it’s no easy task for any farmer.
“This is my family’s only source of income. I have heard of your programme (Village Voice) and I really want the government to hear about the problems we are facing here.
“Hopefully the government will listen this time and water will make its way to our village. If water does come then I will be happy.”
To add to the list of hardships faced by Sasa’e, the cost of living doesn’t make his situation any easier.
“Another problem is that the cost of living has gone up to ridiculous levels,” he said.
“We don’t make enough to look after our family properly; the only thing we have a lot of is vegetables for my family to eat. We can’t afford sugar, or lamb for the family. My plantation is my life and when we don’t have enough food then I’ll just take some taro and boil it for the family.”
Sasa’e works hard and he fears that everything is a waste of time.
“Every morning I wake up before the sun and start working at about 5:30am,” he said.
“When the sun is strongest at about 12pm, I take a break then continue working soon after. I work throughout the day to take care of my family.
“I work really hard but it’s all in vain when my crops die due to the lack of water. That’s all we really need out here. Water is our biggest problem and we hope the government helps us out with it.”