Imagine living in a shack with eight people and unemployed.
This is the reality for Tapuaisili Faalili, from Leaupuni.
He lives with his wife, daughter and her husband including their five children.
Tapuaisili’s main concern is the welfare of his grandchildren who all attend school.
Their main source of income has always been the land; unfortunately Tropical Cyclone Gita destroyed their plantation.
For four years, they’ve lived without electricity, but the wrath of Gita has made life worse for him.
The Village Voice team found Tapuaisili yesterday trying to fix his home.
“We rely on the land but TC Gita ruined most of our taro and banana batches,” he shared.
“We usually receive about $100 a week from what we sell and for me that is good.
“In that way, we would always have something to fall back to. But now there is nothing more that we could do. Now we need to wait for the next couple of months for the taro to grow again,” said the 63-year-old.
They source electricity from their neighbour.
“The cyclone did not just ruin our crops, but our house too. We need a proper home. Living in a stable house is safe not just for me, but my family.
“The water supply is good, but the only problem that we face is our house. The roof of my house leaks. Our tarpaulins have been damaged too, but we don’t have any windows to prevent the water from entering.
“The kitchen is a mess. The iron roofing was destroyed during the cyclone. The fridge that you see in my kitchen was a gift from our Pastor, but it was ruined by the cyclone as well,” he said.
Mr. Faalili is ill. He has a problem with his hearing and it is the reason he has stopped working too.
“I stopped working ever since I started having problems with hearing. I used to be a driver, now I don’t work anymore. It is risky to be on the road when I can’t hear anything.”