Tough struggle for Safata family
Life is tough for Olevia Taitasi.
The cost of living and hardships have brought so many trials that her family cannot overcome.
The unemployed mother of five, from Lotofagā Safata, shared to the Village Voice team that searching for water connection is a struggle.
A bathroom that is of poor condition and having her 17-year-old son as the breadwinner of their family, are added burdens for the 38-year-old.
She said most days she is left with nothing to feed and take care of her children.
Mrs. Taitasi said her son’s weekly earnings of $70 are not enough for their family.
“We bought buckets during Tropical Cyclone Evan so when we have problems with the water, we use them.
“The struggle of looking for water everywhere is hard, which is why a water tank will be much more convenient, but then again we have no money to buy a tank.”
For five years they have been using a pit toilet and she dreams of the day they will finally have a flush toilet.
“We need help with the toilet as well. It is those olden toilets, which could affect the wellbeing of my children because it is unhygienic.
“My son looks after this other man’s cattle, he works only three days a week and that is the only income we receive. The money that he gets is not enough to set up a more modern bathroom,” she said.
Her biggest concern is her children because they are still young and they don’t have a secure home to live in and as a mother, she worries for the welfare of her children.
“I have two children who are in school, my 10-year-old and six- year-old and the two younger ones.
“My husband and I have been planning to fix our house, we have got some iron roofing, but because we face financial problems, plans for a proper house will have to wait.
“When a natural disaster strikes, we relocate to my sister’s place because our house is not safe,” Mrs. Taitasi said.
She is pleading for assistance.
“We still have our vegetation and crops where we earn extra money, but we were so busy with my father’s funeral who just recently passed away, so we did not have time to attend to it (plantation).
“Whenever I have free time, it is either I attend to my one year old, who is the youngest child or I am out in the field working the land.”
Mrs. Taitasi added the cost of living is another reason her family struggles with making ends meet.
“Having a $100 to buy a water tank, fixing my bathroom and complete building my house does not make the cut.”