Life is always hard without water

By Pai Mulitalo Ale ,

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Louā Lemo’s house at Samalaeulu, Savai’i.

Louā Lemo’s house at Samalaeulu, Savai’i. (Photo: Pai Mulitalo Ale)

They say what’s good for  Upolu is also good for Savai’i.

When it comes to water, one really has to question the validity of such a claim. 

Ask Louā Lemo, of Samalaeulu, and he will tell you their daily struggle with water. 

Lemo’s family resides at Samalaeulu, 20 miles away from the centre of the village in an abandoned area known to many as the vaotele.

According to him, while the village has access to water, it’s treated water.

He said the village couldn’t afford to buy more pipelines to connect the water to where he lives.

“Although I live on the main road, the water pipes do not reach my house and we are getting used to it.” 

Lemo’s children fetch water from a family about 300 meters from their house. 

“This is a daily struggle,” he said. “When it rains that’s when we are at peace.

“When it rains, we are able to store water for drinking and for our food, but we have to walk 300 meters to do our washing and to shower.” 

“So getting water for us is like a chore every morning.”

Louā Lemo o Samalaeulu
Louā Lemo o Samalaeulu

Lemo, his wife Elisapeta and their five children had just moved to their new place five months ago. 

“We used to live next to the Mali’oli’o river but sometimes I fear for my family’s lives when the river overflows.”

“That’s why I decided to move to this side and we finally feel safer here.” 

Lemo said making their move was not that hard for them. But they didn’t have enough money to buy a water tank.

“We could only fix our electricity.”

Asked how he provides for his family, Lemo said some of his children are working overseas while others are in Apia. He gets help from them.

He also earns money from selling vegetables in a small market in front of his house.

Sometimes he sells taro and banana.

“I work every day on my land especially in our plantation and vegetable garden because it’s easy money.”

Lemo believes that with the work he’s doing, he can provide for his family every day. 

About the government’s support and the development of Savai’i, Lemo believes they should mean what they say when they say that what is good for Upolu is also good for Savai’i.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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