Accessing clean drinking water a challenge

Manu’a Fetineia’i and her family of Falevao have never had access to clean drinking water for over 20 years. 

The mother of two lives with her husband, their two children, her grandmother, and her four brothers in a dilapidated small house.

“I have lived for more than 20 years and we have never had any access to clean water, the water that we receive is not treated meaning it is not safe to drink.”

“Water is the most important necessity of life; it has so many various uses, firstly to quench our thirst.”

“But we have to boil the water first before we consume it, so we will not be sick,” she said. 

Currently, the family has access to water—but not necessarily clean drinking water—and they are further challenged during the rainy season. 

The 25-year-old says: “With the heavy rainfall, the water we get is very dirty, sometimes the water is disconnected, and we have no choice but to use buckets to store water from the rain. The water that we get is from the Samoa Water Authority, it’s from our very own water source. Our family needs a water tank so it will be easier to store water for various purposes.”

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Her children and family’s health is a big concern for Manu’a.

“We need water for cooking our daily meals, washing dishes and clothes, for bathing and also for our toilet. It makes it worse that there are so many of us but we all need water. Our home as you can see is prune to floods and leakage meaning the roof leaks during heavy rainfall whereas the impact of such rainfall causes our homes to be flooded.” 

The challenges facing the family are made more challenging due only one person being employed, while the rest depend on the plantation for their sustenance. 

“Our family live off our crops; food supply and source of income is gained through the plantation.”

“We do not have the riches or the financial stability but we have each other to help and support.”

“We are thankful to God that he blesses our family every day even though we may not have enough but other people have nothing.”

“We have to be grateful for what we have,” she added. 

With the country now in the middle of the cyclone season, Manu’a prays that the weather does not deteriorate. 

“Our home is not built to withstand cyclones; I worry about my grandmother and children the most if something were to happen. The last cyclone left so much damages but I cannot imagine how we will survive the next one.”

If you are willing to help the family of Manu’a Fetineia’i from Falevao, please contact the number 7297751.

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