Savai'i family bands together but goes without
A family-of-four from a village on Savai'i's central north coast is doing all they can to get by while facing the major obstacle to healthy living of lacking access to clean water.
Speaking to the Village Voice on Saturday, a mother-of-two, Vaimaila Petelo says that as a family, they continue to face challenges on a daily basis.
However, trying to collect water for their family is the most pressing need they have.
She said that they have been waiting for a water tank for so long, and still nothing.
While she admits that they are happy with the simple life they live every day, she did not hesitate to nominate their daily struggle of living without a water tank and access to clean water supply as one of life's greatest obstacles.
"Life can be very challenging," Mrs. Petelo said.
"But we are still very grateful that we can still manage to get by each day as we go on in life. For us, we enjoy the simplicity of life here in Savai'i.
"We may be far from town and where employment opportunities are available, but we depend heavily on our lands for survival.
"That's the way it has been for our family."
Said Mrs. Petelo, her husband, Asoiva works in Upolu to provide for their family.
"I stay with our two children here in Savai'i, while my husband goes to Upolu for work. We try to make ourselves useful by doing chores around the house and working the land to help out with what my husband earns from his job.
"As you know there are so many obligations in Samoa that require money on top of what is needed for our children's schools and to provide for them as well.
"So we try our best as a family by working together and helping each other to get by."
However, Mrs. Petelo believes that their lives would be much better and easier if they had a water tank.
"As you can see the empty buckets and gallons outside, that's what we use to store and collect water for our family.
"Because of the location of our house and how it's isolated from the mainland, it's hard to fetch water for our family.
"We rejoice when it's the rainy seasons and during the dry seasons, we do our best to collect water and store them for us."
Mrs. Petelo said they would appreciate any help in providing a water tank for their family.
"As I said, we try our best as a family to get by," she said.
"But with the cost of living, obligations and so many things to do in Samoa, we have a hard time saving money for a water tank.
"We also have plans to build a better house for our family, but right now, we are focusing our time, energy, and effort in finding a water tank for us.
"We would love any help available for us, and we would be very grateful to anyone who would be kind enough to donate or even help us get a water tank.
"For now, we will just keep praying and hoping for the best."
Vaimaila and Asoiva can be contacted on 7296760.