No rain no water

By Ilia L. Likou and Vatapuia Maiava 09 September 2016, 12:00AM

In the village of Faleasi’u-uta there is a family in desperate need of help.

When the Village Voice team approached Puaga Siaosi, she poured her heart out with all the hardships she faces on a day-to-day basis.

“Up until now we have no running water here,” she said.

“Other families nearby are lucky to have water tanks but we are living on buckets of water. We rely on the rain and if there’s no rain then we have no water.

“We would just pray to God for rain because everyone knows that it hardly rains in this country.”

With only a single employed family member, the income earned by her hard working husband is simply not enough to take care of the family.

“My husband just started working as a security guard at Malifa,” Puaga says.

“He makes $100 a week and his earnings put the children through school in the past but they had to drop out because the money was just not enough.

“They haven’t been in school for a year now. One of my children is 7-years-old which would put her in year 2 and the other one stopped at year eight.

“We don’t have enough money to cater for all the schooling costs. I have eight children and the older ones have already graduated but the others have all dropped out.”

Puaga continued on explaining the predicament her family is currently facing.

“We are new to this village and we are relying a lot on our small plantation we have at the back,” she says.

“Even when it comes to bus fares, my husband would have to beg the driver some mornings to let him hop onto the bus and he will pay on Friday when he gets his pay.”

Even without employment, Puaga works hard to help out to the best of her ability.

“I have a sister in Australia I call when I am desperate,” she says.

“I ask her if she could send over some money but if she says no then I would to other families to ask if I can do anything to get about $20 a day for some sugar and other things for the children.

“I would go and weed the gardens for families nearby so that I could earn just a bit of money for the family and to help my husband out.”

But at the end of the day, all the family can do is hope for help to arrive.

“We have been go ask others if we can use their water because we have been living without water for very long,” Puaga says.

“We really need help; we don’t even have a toilet for the family because everything we earn is gone very fast.”

By Ilia L. Likou and Vatapuia Maiava 09 September 2016, 12:00AM

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