Mother fears for family’s welfare

Life is tough for 45-year-old Aliitasi Vaiola of Matautu, Lefaga. 

She has lived off the land for over nine years with her husband and four children, their home a broken down shack in Matautu, Lefaga. 

“As you can see our home is made in Samoan traditional style, which does not have a cemented floor, the floor is made up of rocks.

“At night some of my children sleep on the floor with a mat spread over the rocks.

“It breaks my heart but the reason why we haven’t done the renovations is because we don’t have enough financial support to fund it,” she said.

And the arrival of the cyclone season has only added to her fears, Aliitasi told the Village Voice team, as she believes and has no doubt that cyclone will destroy their home. Her family was not spared when the last cyclone to hit Samoa made landfall. 

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“I say that because our family suffered that fate earlier this year when Cyclone Gita completely damaged our previous home.

“We took refuge at the Mormon Church building during the cyclone, our home was not safe to be in as the cyclone took its course in Samoa, our home was vulnerable.

“It was from our old home that we collected the remaining building materials to construct our existing home,” she added. 

Her biggest worry are her children and not being able to provide a secure house continues to torment her.

“I fear for the lives of my children because we have young ones, their safety is my first priority. Not being able to provide a safe and secured home it torments me greatly because home is where children can live in safety and security.”

While there is access to water, it is their inability to capture and store it which is their biggest challenge. 

“We have access to water but sadly there are cases that sometimes the water would go off and then it comes back days later. And we are left with no option but seek water elsewhere. 

“With that being said, we wish we had a water tank so we that when our water goes off, we have water already secured for various purposes,” she added. 

With her daughter being the only bread winner in the family, the family lives off the land and get their food from the plantation.

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