For Fiailoa's family, water often out of reach

Elderly mother of three, Fiailoa Sao, lives with her ailing husband and children in Lotofaga in a house which is not far from a main road but often quite out of reach from life's most basic necessity. 

The 62-year-old was going about her normal daily chores when the Village Voice team came across her.

“We have free access to water supply from an independent water scheme but the quality of the water [was such that] we were cautioned not to drink straight from the tap,” she said.

“But the struggle gets harder because we have to care for my sick husband."

And during heavy rainfalls the water is dirty and filled with rubbish, she said.

“My is husband, Faifua Sao, cannot walk and has problems with his hands," she said. "He needs water so during times when the water is [in] very bad condition we depend on rain water which we collect using buckets.”

Mr. Sao, 76, said that his family faces so many hardships because no one is employed and therefore there is no financial support.

“Money is always needed to buy or pay for everything but my sons are in charge of our plantation which is the key to our survival; we only eat from what we grow," he said. 

“We can survive eating only taro or bananas a day for a whole week but if we are fortunate to sell our taro or bananas we can afford rice and that is usually my food to eat.”

Mrs. Sao said that another struggle their family faces is the situation of their home.

“Our home is made to be like a Samoan home so the problem is that when it rains the water can get inside the house because the tarpaulins have holes and are very old but because I sleep on the floor the area I sleep on gets wet and I cannot rest throughout the whole night.

“There are times when my husband would experience a lot of pain and discomfort but we cannot take him to a hospital because we cannot carry him on a bus and take him to see a doctor.

“My sons are tasked with carrying their father to the toilet but there are times where I have to help him but I cannot support his weight.”

The father of three was told by local doctors that his condition was caused by an injury he had when at a young age where he fell from a breadfruit tree.

“I was not always like this but as I grew older, one day I started getting ill and became bedridden but despite having the inability to walk I thank God for the gift of life and I have reached so many years added to my life.”

If you are willing to help the family of Mrs. Sao please contact the number: 7250004.

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