Living in fear of heavy rainfall and flooding

By Aruna Lolani and Fetalai Tuilulu’u ,

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FLOODING ANXIETY: Iafeta Tenari from the village of Eva.

FLOODING ANXIETY: Iafeta Tenari from the village of Eva. (Photo: Aruna Lolani)

For some families in Samoa, when bad weather strikes they fear for their lives.

They don’t have any guarantee that they will always be safe; especially for those living around the coastal areas or near rivers.

For Iafeta Tenari, that’s exactly the situation he’s in.

Mr. Tenari is a 62-year-old father from the village of Eva. Yesterday he was busy getting loads of pebbles for the foundation of their new home.

Mr. Tenari said everything is going well with his family but one of the things they fear the most, are the times they face heavy rainfall.

Mr. Tenari’s home is situated next to a river and whenever bad weather occurs, they always have to be cautious of flooding. 

“Heavy rainfall season is always a time for us to be prepared for what could happen because heavy rainfall causes this river to overflow its bank,” he told the Village Voice.

“And everytime that happens, not only do we have to worry about the flood but also the trees that could have possibly fallen over our house. 

“You know, this is a struggle and one of our main fears especially when you have little children.

“That’s always the case with our family during times like that but today I’m a happy man because as you can see, we are starting to build a new home.”

Mr. Tenari said he’s thankful for his children overseas for sending over the money to build this new house.  “This is definitely a new development for my family and without the success of my children overseas, we would not be able to achieve this.

“So not only is it a development for us but this could be solution for us to steer clear of flooding cause by the river overflow. Hopefully it is a solution.” The 62 year old said they will build their house in a way that they can be safe from flooding during heavy rainfall.

“I’m not sure if it will change anything but hopefully it’s a step closer to a safety strategy so we can at least relax and be comfortable during the rainy season.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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