Father hopes for stable, safe home

A family of three on the east coast of Upolu have dreams of a sturdier home that can withstand the forces of nature, especially during cyclone season.

The Muavae family live in a small house with a corrugated iron roof. It measures about 12 square meters and is lifted up from the ground by wooden posts accompanied by a wooden floor about half a metre above the ground. It has no amenities such as a bathroom. 

Speaking to the Samoa Observer, 43-year-old father Eddie Muavae said they have been living on their current property for more than 10 years but have constant worries about the potential impact of the weather. 

“Our house was originally located very close to the main road but due to a previous cyclone it caused damage so we just relocated the home a bit further away from the road,” he said.

“Our main concern is the vulnerability of our home from cyclones, in the past we would take shelter in our neighbouring relatives’ home, just to be safe because it would be tragic if our home collapsed with us in it.”

The home is nearly 25 kilometers from Apia via the main East Coast Road.

Mr Muavae lives together with his wife and child in the structure. He says their challenges with the weather are accompanied by the pressures of the rising cost of living.

“As you can see, our home also needs tarpaulin to block rainwater from coming into our home,” he said.

“I am the breadwinner for our family but I know my income cannot afford to build a new home.”

Saving with a view to expanding their house is next to impossible with the family's small income stream, Mr. Muavae said. 

“As much as I want to save some money, our daily needs such as food supplies and expenses become more urgent than a long-term goal," he said. 

“At the moment, we do not have our own electricity supply plus our very own toilet and shower facilities, instead we use our relatives’ who are living near us.

“It would lessen another burden off our shoulders if we have some of the basic necessities such as a shower and toilet but we also have our own water supply.”

Despite their daily struggle, Mr. Muavae says he remains thankful for the gift of life and God’s blessings for him and his family.

“We pray every day to God for all our needs and especially to have survived for this long,” he said.

“But we are not interested in a big house, just a stable home to be safe and secured during the cyclone season.”

If you are willing to help the family of Mr. Muavae please contact the numbers: 7715934 or 7744223. 

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