Father talks of daily struggles

Struggle is real for a father of seven who relies mainly on the sea for survival. 

Apaau Lila from Manono shared about the troubles he undergoes because of poverty.

Mr. Lila and his wife are both unemployed. They do not have electricity or water supply at their home. 

The 48-year-old also spoke about living in a rundown shelter that houses nine people.

Mr. Lila said they used truck tyres and rocks to prevent their roof from being blown away by the sea breeze which could be really worse at night or when the weather is not good.  

He said having no electricity has also been a major problem for him whenever he goes fishing in the middle of the night. 

Mr. Lila said they were currently sourcing power and water from their neighbour

 “As a father we are fearful for the lives of our daughters, especially nowadays we hear a lot about certain cases of rape towards young girls, these are the kind of things that I am always mindful of. Having seven daughters comes with great responsibility in keeping them safe which is why I asked my neighbour for help.”

“We have another Samoan house that is located far from the main road, but we have avoided living there because of my daughter’s safety, for instance when I send them to come to the store in the evening, we wouldn’t know what can happen,” he said.

With school commencing next month, Mr. Lila has to fish more often so he would be able to provide school uniforms and stationeries for all his daughters.

“I am getting ready to go fishing tonight (last night) so it would be enough to get another child’s uniform, especially with school starting soon. These are the certain things that we need to prepare for. I have one daughter who is in college and the other six girls are all in primary school,” he added. 

Nothing remains the same forever and that is something that Mr. Lila fears the most, especially with his age.

“Right now in my family, nothing is actually stable and our only source of income is found within the sea, but I feel that my strength these days is no longer like when I was in my youth.”

Mr. Lila said some of his catch fed his family on a daily basis. 

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