Family still suffering from Cyclone Gita

By Nefertiti Matatia ,

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Fatu Lealofi seeks assistance for a more stable home.

Fatu Lealofi seeks assistance for a more stable home.

Fatu Lealofi is in need of proper shelter.

His family lives in a rundown house in Fagali’i. 

Tropical Cyclone Gita worsened his situation by almost tearing the roof of their house apart.

Mr. Lealofi is the sole provider for his family. He has three children and they are his priority.  

“We really need help. You can tell that we are a developing family because we still use coconut leaves to place on our roof. 

“There is no money to buy iron roofing for our house. That is the only thing that we need - a home. We have been searching, but everything is a delay because it is only through money that progress could be made.

“There is not much that we could do because of poverty,” said the 48-year-old.

Mr. Lealofi shared: “Everything that you see here like the tarpaulin and the carpet belonged to my wife’s parents. We don’t have any coconut leaves to fix the leaking roof. 

“The tarpaulin was ripped and it is not safe for us to stay here. We need more coconut leaves for the house. We have been trying to look for some other coconut trees because there is not enough to fix the roof.

“Every time it rains, it feels like there is no roof. It just pours.”

For eight years, they have been living there and the house has become old and worn out. TC Gita also damaged most of their belongings.  

“We all relocated to my wife’s parent’s house because the house was badly damaged. Now we are trying to build a new house but there is a major delay because I have no money,” Mr. Lealofi said. 

“I am trying to take out a loan to fix the water supply and also to provide electricity for our family.

“We don’t have a shower and bathroom, which is why I have been trying to get a loan.

“The electricity pole and where the meter is in our home are not safe. We are still waiting on when we can relocate but then again, we just have to live with it for now.”

Mr. Lealofi works as a security guard and his earnings are spent on his children’s schooling and his family’s needs.

“My wife wants to work but there is no one to look after our children,” he said. 

“The cost of living is expensive. If a person does not work, then they will suffer. The prices for food are also costly and to rely on our relatives for help, we would not get anything from it.

“This is the reason I work the land so that there is a supply of crops for our daily nourishment and our money could be saved.

“Despite how we budget the money, $170 can’t make the cut for everything that we need in our family.

“My youngest child just turned four. My eldest is in Year 8 and my second child is eight years old. They are still young and cannot be left at home alone.”

For anyone who is willing to help Mr. Lealofi’s family, contact the number 7727943. 

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