Water woes for Faleula-uta family

Living in an area that is supposed to have a guaranteed supply of water doesn’t necessarily mean you will access such service every day of the week.

Just ask Fa’asu Lister, from the village of Faleula-uta, and she will tell you all the days they have to go without water because of constant water cuts.

Fa’asu, 29, is a stay at home mother who takes care of her children and runs a roadside stall while her husband works as a carpenter in Savai’i.

She explains that sometimes they could go up to three weeks without running water.

 “I guess the only issue we have in our family is the water,” she said. 

“Our water has always been unreliable. We have already paid our water bill but they told us that they are doing their rounds to get water around Samoa.

“We have been waiting more than three weeks now for the water and it’s not easy to go about our day without water.

“This is an issue that always happens with the water office and it’s affecting us greatly.”

Fa’asu has no other choice but to go to the home of others to fill up her buckets of water.

“I walk a long distance to fill up my buckets of water from a family member’s house,” she said.

“We are living out of buckets and it’s not easy. It’s also not easy to walk all the way back carrying heavy buckets of water but it’s something I need to do in order for my family to have water. We have about 15 buckets to store water in this household.

“The buckets are always kept full because of the constant water cuts. The only difficult part is filling them up after the water cuts.”

If the water problem wasn’t bad enough, Fa’asu described her life as not having nearly enough to make ends meet on a daily basis.

“My husband is a construction worker in Savaii,” she said.

“He earns about $350 a week from his job. The money goes very fast because we have to cover our daily meals and all other expenses for our children’s schooling.

“Another problem is that it’s almost impossible for people in Samoa to dodge the occasional family gatherings (faalavelave). We have been living here since 2004.”

Fa’asu says that aside from not earning much in a week, they aren’t even able to afford much because everything is becoming more and more expensive.

“Things are getting more and more expensive nowadays,” she said.

“When my husband gets his pay then we buy enough supplies to last the week such as a sack of rice, sugar and other important food things. We do this so no money goes into other extra things during the week.”

Fa’asu does her part to take care of her family through her small roadside stall by her house.

“I grow pumpkins and other small crops to help make a bit of extra cash for the family,” she said.

“So I stay home, take care of my children and sell some crops because when my husband gets his pay; there are already things we need to spend it on.

“So I try and do my part in earning a bit more for our survival. No matter how much we struggle; my only dream is for my children to get a good education so that they don’t struggle with their own family.”

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