Father of eight talks of water struggle

Meet Vainuupo Vaifale, 53, of Lepale, Fasitoo Tai.

The father of eight is in need of a water tank to ease his problems.

He shared to the Village Voice team yesterday morning the struggle of living without running water.

“I feel like moving with my family and going to my wife’s family or back to our family in the mainland because I’m tired of living this kind of life,” he said.

“We moved here in the beginning of this year but we used to live in the mainland, but this is our other land and my older brother told us to come here and look after our land here, hence why we are here.

“But when we came here it was a struggle because there is no running water and no water tank.”

Vaifale said there are so many problems faced by his family especially his children who are very young.

“We are the only family here who doesn’t have a water tank. All the families living in this area own water tanks and some families have two water tanks,” he said.

“When it rains we use gallons to store water but when there is no rain that’s when we struggle.

“When we run out of water, we would go to our neighbours to ask for water and most of the time we only get water for drinking and we would only be allowed to fill up a teapot and a 1 litre bottle of water.

“So we would save that for a whole week.”

He said most of the days they would go without taking a bath because there is no water.

“As you can see, we also have a bathroom and we need water in order for us to use it,” he said.

“If there is no water, we won’t use the bathroom, instead we would dig a hole for us to use, especially my children.

“I know it’s unhealthy but there is no choice, this is the life we are living in.”

Asked if they fetch water from the mainland, Vaifale said they do but it is far and costs money.

“We are very far from the mainland, we don’t have a car so that means we have to walk,” he said.

“Even my kids; they all attend school except for the two young ones, but we would wake up early in the morning and we would walk to the mainland to fetch water and for my children to shower and get ready for school.

“It would take us one and a half hours or even two hours to walk from here to the mainland because it is very far.

“It’s a hard life and when I look at my children I cry because I see that they are suffering from this kind of lifestyle but there is nothing we can do.”

Asked if they had sought help from their Member of Parliament, Vaifale said they already did but the answer was not helpful

“He said there is nothing he can do,” said Vaifale.

“I don’t know who I can turn to for help, we don’t have money to buy a water tank but I hope your programme will.

“I’m embarrassed to do this but as a father, I will do everything to make sure my family survives, so please if there is anyone out there who can provide a water tank for us that would be great.

“That is all we need.”

If you want to help the Vaifale family, you can get a hold of them on 7267104.

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