Struggle is real for family, want electricity

The family of 35-year-old Leleai Asofa who live on the northwest coast of Upolu are doing it tough.

Take one look at their home, which was built like a traditional Samoan designed house with wooden posts and coconut-thatched roof, and you can already imagine the enormity of their daily challenges in the cyclone season.

Having only moved recently to their home, which is 44 kilometres from Apia through the main West Coast Road, setting themselves up in their new area is a challenge.

Their home can only be accessed through a dirt road which goes inland and is located away from the main road surrounded by a plantation.

With no formal employment, Ms. Asofa and her husband depend on their plantation and the sea to survive.

“We recently moved here this year hence why we do not have enough resources [to set ourselves up],” she said.

“My husband goes out fishing and normally we earn $50 if he returns per day but he doesn’t go out every day. Sometimes we get $150 a week but that is not stable it depends on so many other factors. 

“The money we receive is usually used for various things like food supplies, village commitments, and daily necessities.”

But if there is one thing that the family would want immediately is electricity – though questions remain on whether connecting power to their home can be safely done – due to the basic structure of their house and its vulnerability to bad weather.

“It’s not easy to not have electricity because during night time, it’s hard to see without a proper light but we try and adjust because we cannot afford to pay for the fees that will reconnect our electricity supply.”

But Ms. Asofa cannot have it the other way and sees electricity access boosting her children’s security. 

“But my main concern is the safety for the children especially at night, we can’t see who could come and cause harm, nowadays everything is unpredictable.

“And because we also have an infant, we also use the very little money we get to pay for the small things like diapers.

“At the moment, we also do not have a place for a toilet so we sometimes use our neighbours.”

The mother of two told the Samoa Observer that the youngest member of their family is four-months-old.

If you are willing to help the family of Ms. Asofa please contact the number: 7243127. 

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