Father speaks of struggles

By Nefertiti Matatia ,

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LIFE IS A CHALLENGE: Ray in front of his home.

LIFE IS A CHALLENGE: Ray in front of his home.

Ray Lesa has a lot on his plate.

On a daily basis, he is without steady electricity and water supply, with only a pit toilet and a small shack as shelter.

Currently, he is sourcing electricity from his neighbour’s house.

The unemployed father of two, from Faleatiu, says life is a challenge with no stable water source.

“The problem is we don’t have water supply, so we always wait on the rain. There are no pipelines that reach our home. 

“When the rain never comes, then we have to go fetch our buckets of water all the way inland.

“We have to walk really far for water which is why we mostly rely on the car. But then again we need money to pay for the car.

“If there is no money then I would have to walk to fill two buckets with water. I can’t sit around knowing that my children need water.

“There are certain times when I would need to get coconuts for my children. That’s the reality of things, we won’t have water every day so I will need to improvise,” said the 31-year-old.

He adds having no water supply is the reason they use the pit toilet.

“There is a big impact of the pit toilet that we use. Just looking at my family and my daughters, there is a possibility that we could be affected by illnesses.

 “My main concerns are the mosquitoes and the diseases they carry, which could affect us.”

His problems do not end there.

Living in a rundown house for six years has always motivated him to build a new home, but sadly there is no money.

“The roof of our house is made from coconut leaves that we’ve woven together. The problem we are now facing is the lack of coconut leaves.

“And our roof has been damaged by Tropical Cyclone Gita. We looked around for help and managed to receive a tarpaulin from the Red Cross.

“They visited us during Tropical Cyclone Gita and it was a great help because our house was leaking terribly. 

“We used that tarpaulin over the coconut leaves that are used on our roof.

“We need a proper home for my daughters. I don’t mind sleeping in the kitchen, as long as my children are safe.

 “We have been planning on making a new house, but all of that has stopped because we need money to buy the housing materials. 

He explained: “The house that we live in is made from the pieces of wood that we collected from the old airport when it was taken down.

“So any wood that I would find, I would get them and help try to fix the fence of my house. Everything that I am doing is for the safety of my children.”

There is nobody who works in their family of five people and their only source of income is from the land.  

“I usually make more than $50 whenever I sell my crops at the market. It is the only way my family could eat and support my children’s education. I have one child who is in school.

“The cost of living has become unaffordable. We have to work in order to survive.”

For anyone who is willing to help Mr. Lesa and his family, contact the number 7780554.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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