“Water and a house are my main challenges”
Sio Sula dreams of providing a better home for his son.
The 51-year-old from Falefa has lived for over two years with his son in their broken-down shack.
“Originally I moved here when my other family members left this house, there was no one to look after it.”
“I actually have four kids altogether, my three girls are staying with my other family members but me and my son stay here.”
“I did not want to live by myself so I am currently spending everyday with son, even though I do not have the riches to provide him a better home, but I am blessed to have his company,” he said.
Speaking of the challenges they faced in an interview with the Samoa Observer, Sio said their house had a basic design like any other traditional Samoan home.
“As you can see our home is like any other Samoan traditional home, with the floor made of a pile of rocks and dirt, the surrounding with tree branches.”
“Our home is vulnerable towards heavy rainfall and cyclones, when it rains. Water is bound to get into our home and causing it to be completely wet. Even the surrounding areas of our home get flooded easily,” he said.
Recollecting the last major natural disaster to hit Samoa, which he faced with his son, Sio said Cyclone Gita which struck early this year caused a lot of damage.
“Our home was a victim too. It was very unstable to be living under this roof, as we tried to protect ourselves from the strong winds and heavy rainfall.”
“But I am thankful to God that we were able to survive that natural disaster, and we were not harmed. But I honestly feared for the life of my son as I kept praying endlessly,” he added.
But the unstable foundation of their house—and its vulnerability in times of natural disaster—is not the only challenge facing Sio and his son.
“The water that we have access to is from the Village of Falevao and it is not safe to drink, meaning it has not been treated.”
“The water supply from Samoa Water Authority cannot reach us, and so we only use the water from the village of Falevao to shower.”
“But we get clean drinking water from our other families that have access to safe drinking water every day through two buckets of water,” he added.
Water is another challenge as they need it for cooking and drinking. The water bill for Falevao was settled by family members, who previously occupied the house, and are yet to get invoiced
“For me and my son, we depend on our plantation for survival, because I am unemployed and so we live off our crops.”
“I want to provide a better life for my son, but I do not have the capacity or financial support to do so, which breaks my heart sometimes,” he said.
If you are willing to help the family of Sio Sula from Falefa, please contact the number 7257032.