Help needed with water
One of the main struggles for Epi Matagi, 59, from the village of Mafafa is the lack of water.
The family currently relies heavily on an unsanitary shallow stream for water posing many health risks.
“There are only six people living here,” she explained to the Village Voice.
“The reason we moved up here was to get away from natural disasters which has devastated our land.
“Right now we are in need of a water tank because we are using a stream and when it rains the water can’t be used for the children to drink.
“We request to you, Honorable Tuilaepa (Sailele Malielegaoi), we need help up here at Mafafa.”
Epi says they are desperate.
“I do need help from the Government, that’s me being honest,” she said.
“As you can see, It hasn’t been long since I moved up to this mountain with my children. We are in need because of the children’s schooling, and the things for the church.
“The only issue we have is in regards to not having enough money.”
With a hut as a home, Epi struggles to make ends meet with the little her family makes.
“We are still trying to develop our house here,” she said.
“This is the family’s house and I want it to be enough for the children. The road leading up to this area needs to be looked at for the children going to school.
“We do need the help of the government. We are living mainly on red seed (Lopa) sales. We are always looking for money to take care of Church commitments, especially church commitments.”
One of the problems Epi’s family faces is having no form of transport in her area. They are forced to wave down passing cars to get to and from their house.
“We need buses to come by in the early mornings and late at night,” she said.
“We need the buses to pick up the children who go to school and also in the evening for them to return. Right now they have to stop the car and get a lift to get here.
“I am thankful for those who have the heart to bring my grand children because they’re not old, they’re very young.”
But other than those issues mentioned, Epi says that life up in the mountain is great.
“The great thing about living up here is that the children don’t go hungry,” she said.
“At the coastal areas when you need taro then you have to make your way inland and then return but over here you just walk over there get the taro and then make it. The children don’t go hungry.
“I am happy that the Lord has blessed me with so many years of life and I love living up here in the mountain.
“Everything is good; we only have issues with the road and transportation.”