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Family shares daily struggles

Aitu Faamaoni and her family have only recently moved onto the land on the west coast of Upolu and life has not been without its challenges.

Accessibility to water and the lack of income generation opportunities continues to be major challenges for the family.

The family’s home is basic and is made out of wood, corrugated iron roofing and a tarpaulin to prevent rainwater from getting inside.

Ms. Faamaoni, 33, continues to worry about her family’s living condition after relocating to their current home after her father’s death.

“As a mother looking after three children, my main concern is our living conditions,” she said. “We have been living in this new house for more than two months hence why it is not in good condition. My father occupied this house before his passing; however some people came and took the materials.”

However, there was nothing the family could do about the illegal removal of material from their home, following her father’s passing.

“When we moved here, there was not much we could use, so we had no choice but to just cut some trees and use it to make some sort of foundation we can sleep inside.”

She added that her husband is the breadwinner of the family and gets paid for mowing people’s lawns, though there are times when he does not get any request for his services. 

“My husband gets money from mowing the lawn of some of our villagers and if we are fortunate we can get $100 a week. But then, there are other days he does not have any work which are the times we struggle with food supplies. The money we get is usually used for food supplies, cash power and the children’s needs for school.”

The family’s financial difficulties have resulted in their 13-year-old son getting pulled out of school to assist with chores in the family-owned plantation.

“I only have two children attending school while my eldest helps me with our chores especially with the plantation.”

While Ms. Faamaoni admits they have their challenges, their biggest worry is accessibility to water, which they can store during rainy days or fetch from families living closer to the main road.

“We depend on the rain and if there is no rain we walk to families closer to the main road to fetch buckets of water. Water is a necessity for any family and we need it to survive.”

The mother of three said that her only wish is for her children to live in a stable home which can also protect them against the forces of nature. 

“During times of strong winds and heavy rain or cyclones, we have to look for a relative’s home so be safe inside.”

If you are willing to help the family of Ms. Faamaoni please contact the number: 7244272.

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