Father shares family's everyday battles

Life has been a struggle for a family of five who have lived without access to clean water supply for two years.

A young father of three, MJ Tauemu, was going about his normal chores around his plantation when the Samoa Observer arrived on Saturday. Mr. Tauemu has lived for more than two years with his wife and children in a small hut made up of wood, and coconut leaves for a roof.

The family’s home 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 surrounded by the family’s plantation.

“Our family depends strongly on our plantation for survival,” he said.

The 23-year-old added that no one from the family has a formal job.

“My wife was employed before but she stayed because she just gave birth to our third son," he said. “I admit we do struggle financially but I try to support us through the resources we have available which is from the land.

“My main concern is the water supply because we have a new born child that requires water for basic needs yet it is a hassle to fetch water elsewhere.”

Mr. Tauemu also mentioned that as time goes by; their family keeps growing so their current home is not in good condition to raise a family.

“As you can see our home is very small, it’s just right for our current family even though there is not enough space but we do try and adapt to the little things we have.

“I am thankful that we have food to eat from the plantation such as cooked bananas in coconut cream, a Samoan delicacy, we live off these kinds of food. We don’t own a fancy oven, instead we cook our food just below our home in an open fire.

“A problem for us is the wild pigs or boars that destroy our taro plantation; there is not much that we can do with less resources and financial support.”

He added that sometimes his family from overseas assists by sending money to support the families back home.

“But we all know that when you start your own family, you have to be independent and cater to your family’s needs.” 

If you are willing to help the family of Mr. Tauemu, please contact the number: 7237956.

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