Family-of-five dreams of water access

On the northeast side of the island of Savai'i, a young couple and their three children, are struggling to create a happy family home without having access to water and electricity. 

The family's 28-year-old father, Tino Sepetio, did not hesitate in admitting that life is hard for them, but also said he was appreciative of the things available to them for survival. 

The young couple are unemployed and rely mainly on the land and remittances for income. 

"We do face a lot of challenges on a daily basis," he told the Village Voice. 

"It has not been that long since we moved to this place so we are still working towards fixing a proper house for us and our children and securing other things for us. 

"But it gets harder every day and sometimes I feel like the aspirations and hopes we have for our families seems like it's just a dream."

Mrs. Sepetio just had a baby so she stays home and looks after their children, while he works the land and sells produce for money. 

"Despite our daily struggles, we keep striving and I keep working hard to provide for my family and make sure that they are well-taken care of," he said. 

"It's every father's dream to provide the best for their family."

In Mr. Sepetio's world, "the best" he wishes for his family is to have access to a water supply. 

That's number one on his priority list. 

Despite the conditions of the small open house they live in, without any blinders to keep the rain from getting inside the house when it rains, Mr. Sepetio believes that having access to water is "a need."

The family uses a sheet to cover their house from the rain. 

"The health of my children and wife is important. At the moment, that's the first thing I do in the morning, and also the last chore I do before the day ends," he said. 

"When I have enough money, I would pay a truck where I would make the trip to the mainland to collect water for my family. If not, then I would walk there with my buckets to get water for us. 

"If not, I would give money to any house close by and would borrow water from them. 

"You cannot live without water, so I make the sacrifice to get water for my family.

"We can still fix up our house after, but it's important that we seek help so we could get water."

Mr. Sepetio would appreciate anyone who is willing to help him and his family. He can be contacted on 7289010. 

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