Creek challenging family’s wellbeing

Vaiola Vili and his family live on a hill surrounded by lush greenery at Tiavea-uta.

You have to follow a track that crosses a creek to get up to the family home, which comprises two Samoan fales — one with a coconut thatch roof, and the other bigger one made out of corrugated iron.    

But don’t be deceived by the presence of the creek, and its crystal-clear water and the adjourning rich vegetation. It is a major worry for the family, as when it is at its peak after a major downpour, it can be dangerous to cross.

“My main worry is the road accessibility that is used by my family to travel towards the main road. 

“For 10 years my family has been living with fear every time the spring below our home, which runs between hills that connects to the main road, overflows.

“When the spring overflows, we cannot cross to go to the main road, and so we have to wait for two to three days — for the spring to have calm waters.

“I fear for my family’s safety because I don’t want any of them to be swept away, it is very dangerous,” he said, in an interview with the Village Voice team.

The family runs short of food supplies when the creek overflows, as it would be dangerous for them to cross. 

“Due to the location of our home, we have never had accessibility to clean tap water. 

“Instead we depend on a spring below our home, but because the water has not been cleaned, we always have to boil the water first before consumption.

“Our daily routine is to carry two buckets filled with water up the hill so we can use it for various purposes.

“Water is very significant — it’s used for drinking, cooking, washing our dishes and our clothes. We also do not have access to electricity,’ he added. 

The sole breadwinner in his family, Vaiola earns $100 a week which is then spent on the family’s weekly expenses. 

“I always put great emphasis to our food supplies first, but then we have other obligations to the church, our village and extended families.

“As you can see the situation of our home is very unstable, it leaks and rain water can reach inside our home during rainy days,” he added.

The family only has one tarpaulin which they use during the heavy rain and wind, and with Samoa now in the cyclone season, there is reason to be concerned.

“And it worries me more that it is not safe because Samoa is still under the season of cyclones.

“But it would have been more convenient to have a water tank which will be much appreciated to help with carrying water up the hill.

“We also need help with our toilet because we do not have a modern one,” he added. 

Vaiola said that his child is his first priority and he is content that he can send her to school. 

“I only want the best for her in terms of a brighter future.”

If you are willing to help the family of Vaiola Vili please contact the number 7565563. 

Bg pattern light


Subscribe to Samoa Observer Online

Enjoy access to over a thousand articles per month, on any device as well as feature-length investigative articles.

Ready to signup?