Family challenged by the rainy season

By Adel Fruean 04 November 2018, 12:00AM

Life is already tough for Pupualii Lufia from Falevao and it will not get any easier.

The arrival of the rainy season from November to April, does not augur well for this father of five, who has a home with walls made from cardboard boxes, and a roof that is made out of a tarpaulin riddled with holes. The roof always leaks when there is a heavy downpour.

For seven years his family toiled in these tough living conditions, but his biggest fear is of a creek next to his house.

“As you can see our home is surrounded by a wired fence and covered with card board boxes.”

“During rainy days the roof leaks and water can get through inside the house because the tarpaulins that we use are old and filled with holes.”

 “But my greatest fear is the stream that flows next to our home, during the rainy season which is the always the end and starting of every year, it overflows,” he said. 

When the creek overflows, it floods the whole area and affects their home.

“I have young children at the ages of three and an infant, it is their safety that I want to prioritize. We are all aware that no one can predict natural disasters, they are unpredictable, and the only thing we can do is to be prepared for it. And that is the main reason why I wish to protect my family, if only we had a home that can provide that safety.”

“But my everyday schedule involves waking up every morning to the life of a farmer, to care and cultivate the lands the best way I know how, with the will and commitment solely in caring for my small family,” he told Samoa Observer. 

The 50-year-old said his wife and their family depend on the produce from their plantation.

“But I struggle because I am in need of farming tools that I can use to maintain my vegetable garden.”

“I grow peas, cucumbers, eggplants, tomatoes, and cabbages and also I have pineapples. Because this is our source of food supply and income, it is a top priority.”

“With the very little money we receive from the crops, we allocate it to weekly expenses but even though we have so little we are blessed to have something. It is true what they say, it is better to have something than nothing,” he added. 

The land that the family currently lives on belongs to their extended family according to Pupualii, and everyone has been given portions to live on and till. 

“We experience water shortages during the dry season. We have access to water supply, but the problem is that we frequently experience times when the water supply is disconnected, which takes up to weeks that turn into a month.” 

When we do run out of water we try to find water accessibility through any spring around the village.

“But that is when we really wish we had a water tank, that our family can use to store water when the supply of water is disconnected,” he said.

The family’s toilet is also a problem, but it still works manually using water poured from a container. 

“We do not have a modern toilet so we are quite uncomfortable and embarrassed, when visitors come to use our facility. Even though the facility is not proper, we still are able to use it by pouring water for it flush, but that is fine for us,” he said.

If you are willing to help the family of Pupualii please contact the number 7766019.

By Adel Fruean 04 November 2018, 12:00AM
Samoa Observer

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