With the incoming cyclone season, family lives in fear
A family of seven from Lauli'i living in a home fashioned out of the iron and wood wreckage of their previous house, say they sleep in constant fear of winds and cyclones due to the unstable structure they call home.
The family of Teevale Venasio lives in a small shack with iron used to cover the roof and bolster the house's external structure with some wood and wires used as windows to let fresh air in.
“Our family’s main concern is the instability of our home, the roof of our house leaks despite having iron roofing,” she said.
The mother-of-five told the Village Voice team that their previous home was demolished by Cyclone Gita. That wreck was used to fashion their new one.
“It was because of Cyclone Gita, which destroyed our previous home, that has caused us to always have fear during cyclone season. It is a never ending worry and concern for us that our house could collapse and harm our children,” she said.
“Due to financial difficulties, our family cannot afford to pay for any building materials to build a much stronger and safer structure.
“There is no one employed in our family, we live off our plantation which we use to sell for income and also food supplies.”
The 32-year-old said her family makes a $100 a week if they are able to sell their bananas, taro or vegetables.
“The money we receive is used for church, village, and family commitments not forgetting food supplies, and also to send our children to school,” she said.
“My normal chores as a mother are to prepare the children for school, then come home and do some normal chores like cooking and laundry.
“But there are things that we are grateful for, such as having access to water through a spring: the water is clean [but] we also do not have a proper modern toilet.”
She added that her hope is for her children to have employment opportunities after school: "All I want for my children is to have a better life and even though I cannot provide an extravagant life, I hope they will succeed.”
If you are willing to assist the family of Mrs. Venasio, please contact the number: 7742335.