Family on bed of rocks dealt new challenges

Mua Leoa Asema's family of four has slept on beds of rocks and cement for a year since moving into their new home. 

They told the Village Voice that the recent state of emergency measures had only compounded the family's financial difficulties.

The 28-year-old’s home is located on the south-west coast of Upolu Island situated away from the main road.

Ms. Asema’s home is made of iron roofing, wood and a floor made of rocks and cement.

“My only wish is to have a proper home for my children,” she said.

She said the family simply does not have enough financial support to fix their home properly:

“My husband is the bread winner and he earns around $100 a week which is usually used for church and village commitments.

“And with whatever is left, we will buy food such as noodles for the children.

“It leaves us with no room to save money or to buy building materials.”

Ms. Asema said that utility bills also tend to eat into the family's cash flow. 

“We have a lot of expenses and at the end of the day we depend mostly on our plantation for survival," she said.

“Another concern is we do not have a toilet facility and so we have to walk to our relative’s home to relieve ourselves.

“It is at times an embarrassing matter but in terms of health concerns, all families need to have their own waste facilities.”

The mother-of-two said that the cancellation of school meant that having children at home means the family has to cater for extra nutritional needs. 

“My eldest son is the only one attending primary school and at times we struggle with providing for his school needs whether it is fees or certain supplies of uniforms or essential lunch money," she said. 

“I am always tasked with chores at home so every day I make sure our family has a meal.

“Amidst the lockdown it has also given us quality time with the children and we believe that the precautions are for the people’s benefit.”



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