Family appeals for a water tank

By Adel Fruean 24 February 2019, 12:00AM

Tauinaola Samito’a Faaletonu of Siumu and his family live a simple life and depend on the plantation for their daily sustenance.

The sale of vegetables such as bananas and taros from his garden in front of their house enables them to have an income, though budgeting $20 a day or $50 a week for the family’s upkeep can be a real struggle.

Mr. Faaletonu, his wife and four children live in a small house – approximately 9 square meters in size – surrounded by lush vegetation. It had corrugated iron reef, which were held down by the weight of four large stones, which the family placed on top to ensure they were not blown off.

Speaking to the Samoa Observer, Mr. Faaletonu said access to water is currently their biggest challenge, after a $1000 debt to the Samoa Water Authority was not settled.

“A great concern and struggle for our family is water accessibility. We cannot have access to water because our family – together with extended families – has a debt of around $1,000 to the Samoa Water Authority.”

“Water is very important because it has various uses like consumption, cooking food, washing our dishes and clothes, and especially for bathing. Another use would be for a toilet, we only use traditional methods because there is no water,” he said. 

Having a water tank will enable the family to store water, added Mr. Faaletonu, which is important for his children.

“Our family is in need of our own water tank, at the moment we get our water from one of our family member’s water tank. In my own perspective, not drinking water most of the time is not a big deal to me alone, but I have children and they need it.”

As a farmer, Mr. Faaletonu, said he depends on the harvest of his vegetable garden. But life as a vegetable seller is unpredictable as there is no guarantee your crops will sell. 

“There are times when we have to budget $20 a day or 50 a week which is always a struggle. We also face difficulties with expenses like transportation, because our home is far from the schools that my kids attend and buying school uniforms,” he added.

Currently, his family does not have access to electricity as they cannot afford it. But it doesn’t really worry him, so long as they have food on the table. 

“Money is always the problem, but for food even if we eat taro with coconut cream we are grateful and thankful to God for his blessings.”

While they have their challenges, the education of their children is considered a priority.  

“We want to invest in our children’s education so that they can become successful in the future if they finish school and find employment.”

“We are living on my wife’s family land and we just recently moved here, and the current situation of our home is not suitable for six people to live in. But we have no choice, this is all that we have,” he added.

And while Samoa is counting down to the end of the cyclone season, the family has concerns about the viability of the house withstanding a tropical cyclone. 

“As you can see, the size is small but we all try and fit inside, I fear for any cyclones because the house is vulnerable. I fear the day our house gets affected by a cyclone because our family will not anywhere to stay.”

If you are willing to help the family of Tauinaola Samito’a Faaletonu from Siumu please contact the numbers: 7267882 or 7265702.

By Adel Fruean 24 February 2019, 12:00AM

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