Love for family keeps father going
It is for the love of family which pushes Iosefa Taua to leave home at 6pm to go fishing and return 5am the next day, for six days a week.
That is the reality of life for the 38-year-old, who has no formal employment and lives with his family on the east coast of Upolu, more than 54 kilometres from Apia through the main East Coast Road.
Mr Taua has three children and together with his wife live in a traditional Samoan-designed house, which is located close to the main road and is surrounded by the family’s plantation.
Their home, as basic as it looks, does not have access to running water as well as electricity.
As bad weather continues on Upolu, the Samoa Observer on Saturday morning sighted a tarpaulin that the father pulled across their house, in order to protect his family from the pounding wind and the heavy rain.
He had just returned home after fetching buckets of water when the Samoa Observer walked up to his family’s house.
“Our family faces so many challenges but we are trying our best to survive each day,” he said in an interview.
“I’m a fisherman. I go out fishing six days a week because I sell my catch to earn some form of income for our daily expenses.
“I admit it is not easy to go out fishing from 6pm and come home the next day around 5am.
“But I will still continue to do so, it is the love I have for my family that drives me to keep going and never giving up.”
As his family’s sole breadwinner, he is also responsible for his two children attending and being in school, though the approaching cyclone season is also a worry.
“We have a plantation that we also depend on for food but in terms of income it takes months until we can reap the fruits of our labour.
“My main concern while our country prepares to head into the cyclone season is our current living condition.”
The family home is not likely to stand the brunt of gale-force winds, if the weather deteriorates during the cyclone season, as the house roof is made of coconut leaves.
“We recently moved to our new home, it’s been three months now, and because we do not have a lot of money, the materials we used to build our home were collected from our surroundings,” he revealed.
“My fear is for the safety of my family, because lately we have been experiencing bad weather conditions but our roof leaks and sometimes the coconut leaf roof gets blown off.
"We also do not have a proper shower or toilet facility but we have tried building something in the meantime."
If you are willing to help the family of Mr. Taua, please contact the number: 7639450.