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Selling coconuts keeps family of six afloat

Life is not easy for a family of six, who have been without electricity and water for over two years, and live in a house that is not spared by the forces of nature.

The family of Iutita Tavae depend solely on selling coconuts in front of their home to earn an income.  

On a typical Saturday morning, Mrs. Tavae’s husband visits their plantation to collect as many coconuts as he can, which the family can then sell.

The family’s property is located on the east coast of Upolu, more than 54 kilometres from Apia through the main East Coast Road. It is situated close to the main road and is surrounded by the family’s plantation.

Mrs. Tavae told the Samoa Observer that she and her husband are both unemployed.

“If we are lucky we can get $50 a week but if not, we will try to live off our plantation,” she said.

The mother of four, who has a new baby, added that their family’s home is not in good living condition as not only does the roof leak but also needs tarpaulins during rainy days.


“As you can see our home was built to look like a typical Samoan home made of wood and coconut leaves for a roof.

“I am also a mother of a two-month-old baby, but the frequent rain has not helped me have peace of mind, the inside of our house has a sheet above us to capture all the rainwater from the leaking roof.

“But I can honestly admit that we are still bound to get wet from the heavy rain.”

The 29-year-old also highlighted their struggles of living without water and electricity supply.

“For more than two years now, my family has been fetching water from neighbours so we can prepare our meals.

“During night times, we use a kerosene lantern to see during the dark nights but it is not safe and I do fear for my children’s lives especially my youngest child.

“We use mosquito coils as well during the times when we sleep, my baby also sleeps in a mosquito net. 

“My family also depends on our plantation for food supplies.” 

If you are willing to help the family of Mrs. Tavae, please contact the Samoa Observer as the family does not have a mobile phone.

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