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Leaking roof only a part of family's struggles

The heavy downpours during the past few days have caused nothing but distress to a family of seven living under a leaking roof.

The country has been subjected to a period of heavy rainfall as a result of a low pressure system the Met Office says continues to bring rain, thunderstorms and gusty winds.

When the Village Voice visited the house of Vaitulia Misi, she was preparing a meal for her husband and children.

And then it started to rain heavily on Saturday morning.

Water leaked through the roof of their fale.

The mother of five and her family live on the North West coast of the island of Upolu, over 44 kilometres from Apia via the Main West Coast Road, in a small house built with a thatched rood.

The family’s home can only be accessed through a dirt road which goes inland and is located away from the main road surrounded with a plantation.

Ms. Misi’s family depends entirely on their plantation for survival. No one has a formal job.

“Our family gets our food from the vegetables we grow with taro and bananas,” she said.

The elderly father of Ms. Misi, Laulu Misi, said he worries for his grandchildren because of the small home they live in.

“There is a need of assistance to further my daughter’s family," he said. "We have been farmers our whole lives, we live by the food we grow and sell."

The 64-year-old added that the house his daughter’s family is living in was built materials they could collect.

“God has blessed us with land and its resources. The main concern is the living conditions for the children and especially the house is very small but a lot of children.

“There is no accessibility to water but thankfully we received a water tank that is being used at the moment.

“Every Saturday the family prepares for Sabbath in terms of gathering taro and its leaves, coconuts, also I have a son who is a fishermen and he usually brings some fish for the Sunday feast.”

Laulu added that the rain can be a blessing and a curse.

“I admit that with rain it causes the roof to leak but thankfully it provides water so we can store and use it daily.” 

If you are willing to help the family of Ms. Misi please contact: 7261606 or 7267699.

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