Father shares daily struggles

A father of eight has shared his daily struggles of trying to earn a living to care for his family.

Afele Pito has been a farmer his whole life.

He believes that even though he is unemployed, the land is where the blessings for him and his family are at.

Mr. Pito, his wife and children moved to their current residence a year ago.

The family had to endure problems with the unstable and deteriorating condition of their house as well as accessibility to electricity and water supply.

Their home is situated on the north west coast of Upolu Island and is surrounded by their plantation and vegetable garden.

It can be accessed through a dirt road which goes inland and is located away from the main road.

“We are desperate to have our own water supply but we cannot afford to pay for the connection fees,” said Mr. Pito.

The 56-year-old father added that his family lives on more than five buckets of water a day for their daily needs. 

“We have to pay at least $20 a week just to have some water. Sometimes when it rains, the roof leaks and that becomes a problem with us living inside.

“At the moment we have three children attending school. Our family depends on our plantation and vegetable garden for food supplies and income.”

He walks around the village or neighbouring villages once or twice a week to sell his pumpkins, cucumbers, cabbages and eggplants which enables him to make about $T60 a week.

“When it comes to a plantation it takes a long period of time to harvest which is why I depend on my vegetables.

“However, if I have no vegetables to sell, I seek some families who need an extra labour and hopefully get some money by offering my services.

“But when there is no extra work I can find, I end up asking the shops for help.”

Mr. Pito added that despite having a plantation their family also faces difficulties.

The family’s last resort is to appeal to their village shop to buy their groceries on credit, promising to pay when they earn a little money.

“I know our family may not have enough money but I am grateful to God for his blessings."

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?