Water access a hassle everyday, family says

Water is life to any family. But a mother-of-five from Siumu says her family often struggles to access clean water.

Seikali Tufa has lived with her husband and children for more than five years in a traditionally-built Samoan home with a foundation made of a bed of rocks covered; mats as a floor; and a roof covered with coconut leaves.

The 47-year-old was cooking fish with coconut cream when the Village Voice team came across her.

“For years, our family had a struggled with water problems. We have never had water access since we have moved here and it is a hassle every day,” she said.

She said that despite their family being gifted with a water tank, they still face struggles.

“It takes up to a week for our water tank to be full but the real struggle is when there is no rain," she said. 

“Our family has no choice but seek water elsewhere from those that have water and in terms of showering we have to walk with the children for an hour to reach a village spring to do laundry and bathe the children.

“For any family, water is life meaning without it, we cannot survive. It is because water is used for so many things like cooking, washing dishes and clothes, quenching our thirst, bathing.”

Mrs. Tufa said that they also face challenges with the current situation of their house.

“The home we have is not stable because it was built all that we had which is why the roof leaks during rainy days and there is not enough tarpaulins to stop the rain from coming inside the house," she said. 

“At times we are ashamed when guests arrive because our toilet is not a modern version, it is an old style where it does not flush instead we have to pour water in it.

“There is no one employed in our family because we depend on our plantation for survival and we also sell some of taro and bananas to earn some money.”

She also said that her eldest daughter wants to be a doctor in the future but they cannot afford to send her to university.

“It breaks my heart that my children want to pursue higher education like university but we cannot afford to send them to university because the fees are too expensive," she said. 

“My eldest daughter who is taking science subjects at Palalaua College in Year 13 talked to me and my husband that she dreams to be a future doctor.

“But I know that we have no financial support for her, yet my daughter is very bright but if she reaches university, we cannot afford to pay her school fees then have no choice but to look for employment.

“A lot of youths cannot continue their studies because for those that come from families of farmers who depend on plantations for survival, they face financial difficulties.”

If you are willing to help the family of Mrs. Tufa please contact the numbers: 7209554, 7236410


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?