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Clean Water for Samoa

Providing Families with Safe, Clean Drinking Water

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Water Tanks for Samoa

Clean water and sanitation: the keys to breaking free from poverty Access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation are vital for health, especially among children.

Poor sanitation, water and hygiene have many serious consequences:

  • Children die from preventable illnesses like diarrhea
  • Children – and particularly girls – are denied their right to education because their schools lack private and decent sanitation facilities
  • Women are forced to spend large parts of their day fetching water
  • Poor farmers and wage earners are less productive due to illness
  • Health systems are overwhelmed and national economies suffer.

It’s impossible to break the vicious cycle of poverty – and enable sustainable development – without first addressing these issues.

The global water and sanitation situation 800 million people still live without safe drinking water.

What’s more, almost two-fifths of the world’s people lack access to sanitation. This means they live in unclean environments where there isn’t a proper waste disposal system in place – and disease is able to spread easily.

Village Voice Stories

Read some of the stories of struggling families who are in dire need of water tanks around Samoa. Thank you Adel from Samoa Observer for providing us with these families and their stories.

UPDATE: More stories will be updated soon!

Family from Falefa Village (Fufilled)

 

UPDATE: This family has been donated a water tank from The Ahqillez Project

 

This family doesn’t have any running water. The mother and her husband have been separated for more than 5 years. They live inland in Falefa and since then their church built them a fale with iron roofing.

Mother and son carry water everyday for the past 5 years from families further close to the village as the govt pipe does not reach their side.

Mother makes falas and also gets money from her cousin who is a security other than that they live off the lands. There are 8 people in her family and a newly born 2 week old baby.

The Family of Luse Alesana (Fufilled)

UPDATE: This water tank was donated on behalf of,
VITORIA Real Estate & Financial Services

A mother-of-six and her family from Savai’i work hard every day to live a simple life growing vegetables for sustenance. But for Luse Alesana, a 36-year-old mother, the family’s biggest challenge is access to water supply.

Speaking to the Village Voice, Mrs. Alesana said that her family live a simple life and depend on the plantation for their daily sustenance.

She said budgeting always presents a struggle and is the main reason they can never save enough to buy a new tank for water storage.

“Our biggest struggle is the water supply,” the mother, who declined to be named, Mrs. Alesana told the Samoa Observer.

“We have a water tank, but it’s no longer in good condition and I fear that the water stored inside that tank is not healthy and good enough for my children.

“The tank is made of cement and it was there even before I was born. Since then, we have been using that tank to store water for my children and family.

“The tank is very old now and has so many cracks on it. If you look inside the tank, there are weeds growing on it and inside the tank. I know it’s not safe for drinking.

“What we do is we use a clean cloth to filter the water that we use for our food. But we boil the water before drinking to make sure that my children will not get sick from drinking water straight from the tank.”

Mrs. Alesana became reluctant to admit that she and her family could use some help, saying she is not the type of person who would seek charity from others.

“I am a strong believer that your future and the future of your family is in your own hands,” she said.

“But life can be tough sometimes and we have so many obligations and responsibilities that we can never neglect. We have been wanting and dreaming of having a new water tank because I feel sorry for my children.

“We tried saving up for it, but things happen every now and then and that is out of our control.”

The mother says she is hopeful someone can lend a helping hand.

“If there is someone out there who is willing to help us, we would appreciate it very much. If not, then we will not stop,” she said.

“We will continue to strive for the best and work hard to provide for our family and children.

“My eldest daughter is fifteen years old and my youngest is two years old.

“We enjoy the simple life here in Savai’i and we love it here, even though it gets hard sometimes. However, we are still very grateful to God for his love, guidance and protection upon us all.”

If you would like to contact Mrs. Alesana you can do so on 7509676.

The Family of Seikali Tufa (Fufilled)

Photo: Samoa Observer.

UPDATE: This water tank has been Donated on behalf of,
The Ahqillez Project

 

Water is life to any family. But a mother-of-five from Siumu says her family often struggles to access clean water.

Seikali Tufa has lived with her husband and children for more than five years in a traditionally-built Samoan home with a foundation made of a bed of rocks covered; mats as a floor; and a roof covered with coconut leaves.

The 47-year-old was cooking fish with coconut cream when the Village Voice team came across her.

“For years, our family had a struggled with water problems. We have never had water access since we have moved here and it is a hassle every day,” she said.

She said that despite their family being gifted with a water tank, they still face struggles.

“It takes up to a week for our water tank to be full but the real struggle is when there is no rain,” she said.

“Our family has no choice but seek water elsewhere from those that have water and in terms of showering we have to walk with the children for an hour to reach a village spring to do laundry and bathe the children.

“For any family, water is life meaning without it, we cannot survive. It is because water is used for so many things like cooking, washing dishes and clothes, quenching our thirst, bathing.”

Mrs. Tufa said that they also face challenges with the current situation of their house.

“The home we have is not stable because it was built all that we had which is why the roof leaks during rainy days and there is not enough tarpaulins to stop the rain from coming inside the house,” she said.

“At times we are ashamed when guests arrive because our toilet is not a modern version, it is an old style where it does not flush instead we have to pour water in it.

“There is no one employed in our family because we depend on our plantation for survival and we also sell some of taro and bananas to earn some money.”

She also said that her eldest daughter wants to be a doctor in the future but they cannot afford to send her to university.

“It breaks my heart that my children want to pursue higher education like university but we cannot afford to send them to university because the fees are too expensive,” she said.

“My eldest daughter who is taking science subjects at Palalaua College in Year 13 talked to me and my husband that she dreams to be a future doctor.

“But I know that we have no financial support for her, yet my daughter is very bright but if she reaches university, we cannot afford to pay her school fees then have no choice but to look for employment.

“A lot of youths cannot continue their studies because for those that come from families of farmers who depend on plantations for survival, they face financial difficulties.”

If you are willing to help the family of Mrs. Tufa please contact the numbers: 7209554, 7236410

The Family of Fefiloi Tivoli (Fufilled)

UPDATE: This water tank has been Donated on behalf of,
The Ahqillez Project

 

Life for Fefiloi Tivoli’s family has not been the same after her husband passed away.

The family-of-three huddles together under a thatched roof surviving in spite of the absence of electricity, water supply and a loof that often leaks.

When the Samoa Observer visited, the 50-year-old was weaving coconut leaves with her daughter to help thatch their leaking roof on a rainy Saturday morning.

The mother-of-two said that after the death of her husband earlier this year, she decided to move away from her husband’s family.

“We moved here around February of this year,” she said.

Ms. Tivoli added that when they relocated to the current residence, they did not have much.

“The materials we used to build our house from gathered from around our land resources, the tree trunks and coconut leaves for a roof,” she said.

She said that she lives with her son and daughter in their small shack:

“My main concern is our home; it is not in good condition because of the lack of materials.

“Our family depends on the sea for survival, my son goes fishing three times, if we are lucky he gets $50 a week but if not we get $20.

“I am in charge of planting taro and hoping to develop my vegetable garden but there is also a lack of materials.”

The elderly mother also said that some of the money they earn pays for her daughter’s food at school.

“I want my daughter to have a better future that’s why I push her to pursue a career after graduating, she walks to school each day,” she said.

“And because we just recently moved, we do not have water or electricity supply.

“Every day, we fetch buckets of water from a far distant because it is a necessity we need water for everything. At the moment we do not have a proper toilet but we just started with building one with the resources we have.”

She also added that during night times they use the torch from their mobile phones to sleep at night.

“We use a neighbour’s power to charge our phone because we do not have electricity.

 

“My home is located near the road that’s why I wish there was a fence because you never know a car might drive straight to our home when speeding.

“The very idea scares me sometimes at night, who knows what could happen.

“It has never been the same after my husband passed away, he was our strength but when he passed away we had to move away from his family, I admit it just did not feel the same way living there.”

If you are willing to help the family of Ms. Tivoli please contact the number: 7716389.

The Family of Mikaele Nonumalo (Fufilled)

Photo credit: Samoa Observer.

 

UPDATE: This water tank has been Donated on behalf of,
Almira Mataele
Lauia Lamositele
Jasenta Tokio
Jazmine Scanlan
Mapuana Reed Photography
Daniel Fauoo
Kalani Faagata
Chrissy Lang
Amy Issenmann
Lash fix beauty bar

A 48-year-old man was collecting firewood for the kitchen on Saturday and the day was just like any other, though he has had a lot on his mind lately.

Mikaele Nonumalo is the father of four children and together with his wife are living the simplest of lives on the southwest coast of Upolu Island.

Their small house is a mash of old corrugated iron roofing and walls held together by wooden posts and reinforced with old canvas, to protect them from the fury of extreme weather.

Basic amenities such as water and electricity are lacking with Mr Nonumalo indicating that they rely on their relatives.

“We do not have any water supply, we fetch buckets of water from neighbouring relatives, and if it rains we use a bucket to store water and use it for our basic needs,” he said in an interview. “And we also do not have our own toilet; we all use the neighbours facility.

“I admit we do not have enough but we are trying our best to get by every day.”

Another shed next to their house is the kitchen where all the family’s meals are cooked.

But right now he is thankful for his plantation and vegetable garden, but he knows that the harvest is still a long way off, as he ponders how he will pay his daughter’s school fees.

“I am a strong believer that education is the key to success,” added Mr. Nonumalo. “If my daughter finishes school and ends up successful, she can help our family lessen some of the financial burdens, we may not have much but we are grateful for what we have.

“We must always thank God for all his blessings because we are alive, thanks for the gift of life.”

Mr. Nonumalo and his family recently moved from Savai’i and have settled on land belonging to his mother’s family.

“Every night, I pray for God’s help especially since my daughter will be attending Year 12 this year, but we do not have enough money to pay for her school fees.

“I was hoping that my vegetable garden would bear fruits before school starts, but it’s a bit slow because I do not have enough resources.”

Nevertheless a 30-minute walk to the family plantation further inland and away from their home, has become a daily chore for Mr. Nonumalo.

“I am determined to develop my vegetable garden because I know it’s good money but I have limited resources,” he added. “We have a taro plantation but that will take so many months before we harvest which is not ideal for survival.”

And while the struggling father has a son, who is currently working in Savai’i, the loss of another son continues to haunt him.

Nevertheless, his other son returns home every fortnight with financial assistance for the family

“My son is the only one employed in Savai’i, but he comes every two or three weeks with money.

“I also lost one of my sons to an accident out in the sea when he went fishing.”

The family also contributes to the church tithing, besides budgeting for a bag of rice, cooking oil and flour.

If you are willing to help the family of Mr. Nonumalo, please contact the number: 7513667.

The Family of Claire Pati (Fufilled)

 

UPDATE: This water tank has been Donated on behalf of,
Faithful & Fit Ministry
Natalia Woo Ching Melbourne Australia & Team

 

A family of nine is praying that their modest family home made of cardboard, wood and corrugated iron will last through this year’s cyclone season.

Access to building supplies is not necessarily a problem for the Pati family.

But access to sturdy material that can withstand the elements is; the family relies on discarded materials.

The family’s mother, Claire Pati, told the Village Voice that their family home is located away from the main road and can only be accessed via a dirt inland road.

The mother-of -five spoke to the Samoa Observer about their daily struggle to eke out a living.

“My fear is the event of a cyclone may affect Samoa and we might lose our only home,” she said.

Ms. Pati also said although her husband is employed their family still face significant financial difficulties.

“I truly appreciate my husband for working so hard to provide for us every week while I stay home and look after the children,” she said.

“Life is not easy but I guess we have to be grateful for everything we have.

“At the moment we face many problems with our living conditions, it breaks my heart every time it rains because the roof leaks and the structure is unstable.

“But we try our best to get through any storm because that’s what families are for; they are there when you are happy or sad and when you are struggling.”

She also said that a lack of access to water was another daily struggle faced by the family.

“We fetch water from other families that have access to [supply],” she said.

“It is a struggle but we are thankful that they are kind to us.

“I can only dream of a new home for my children but we have to face reality daily; we survive with what we have.

“Another struggle we face is that we do not have proper bathing and toilet facilities.

“My brother and his child are also living in a small home connected to our house, and despite the large number [of people] we all help each other with everything.”

Ms. Pati said that all of her five children attend school.

If you are willing to help Ms. Pati’s family, please contact the number: 7298013.

The Family of Daniel Asalemo (Fufilled)

UPDATE: This water tank has been Donated on behalf of Maranatha SDA Church Amerika Samoa.

 

The Asalemo family lives by the light of an electric lantern hanging on their ceiling but the family’s hopes for a better future are undimmed.

The family-of-six share a small, open-style house and face obstacles to daily living including the absence of electricity and water supplies but say they remain optimistic in the face of challenges.

In their small open shack with iron roofing and a dirt floor, the Asalemo family lives not far from the main road.

The family of Daniel Asalemo recently moved to the current property, which can be accessed via the Main East Coast Road and is more than 23 kilometres from Apia.

The family has only one bed which they use to sleep together and rely on the glow of a charged portable light hanging from the ceiling when the evening comes.

The father-of-four told the Village Voice team that it has not yet been a month since their family moved, which explains some of the family’s difficulties.

“It has only been a few weeks since my family started setting up here,” he said.

On Saturday, the 31-year-old was collecting wood to build a small outdoor kitchen to cook the family’s food.

He also mentioned that he just finished building a small toilet but does not yet have access to shower facilities.

“One of our main struggles is the inaccessibility to water supply; we fill up two 20 litres bottles of water from those that have access to water,” he said.

“However, because [this area is covered by] an independent water scheme source, most of the time during rainy days the supply of water is usually dirty, hence why we always boil the water for the children’s sake.

“And also, sometimes the supply of water is disconnected during the day while it is connected only around night time which is another burden [when] we have to shower the children as well.”

Mr. Asalemo said the family greatly-needed storage facilities which would allow them to keep water for everyday use.

Another concern raised by the family is their vulnerable living conditions.

He said that tarpaulins and a cement floor are among the family’s other needs.

“During rainy days we struggle with trying to stop the rain from getting inside and we end up all getting wet,” he said.

“Despite facing so many obstacles, we remain positive and always hopeful that we can overcome them, that’s why I try to collect whatever I can to build our home.”

If you are willing to help the family of Mr. Asalemo please contact the number: 7777067.

The Family of Iosefa Taua (Fufilled)

 

UPDATE: This water tank was donated on behalf of,
VITORIA Real Estate & Financial Services

 

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.

The Family of Pili Mamea (Fufilled)

Photo: Samoa Observer.

UPDATE: This water tank has been Donated on behalf of,
Almira Mataele
Lauia Lamositele
Jasenta Tokio
Jazmine Scanlan
Mapuana Reed Photography
Daniel Fauoo
Kalani Faagata
Chrissy Lang
Amy Issenmann
Lash fix beauty bar

Accessing water is an everyday struggle for the Pili family in Savai’i, but the family-of-five refuses to let the challenge mar the many blessings of the simple life.

For Pili and Tausaga Mamea and their three children, life’s challenges include limited access to water but they are thankful for their blessings.

“We are appreciative of God’s blessings upon our family,” Pili told the Samoa Observer.

“We understand that the going gets tough sometimes, but such is life, we have good and bad days.

“However, the main problem we continue to face as a family is the limited water supply.”

Though there are some days when continuous rain enables them to store and collect water.

“We enjoy the rainy days as we get to store and collect water using buckets and empty gallons,” added Mr Mamea.

“But when it comes to the dry season, then we have to make the trip further inland to our other family to get water for our daily needs.

“We have been praying and waiting for the water supply to reach our family, but up to now, there is no luck.”

Outside of the family’s house, one can see a few buckets that the family uses to store rainwater.

Mr Mamea says they need water in order to survive including to bathe, eat and drink.

“As you know, we all need water in order to survive, we need it for food, drinking, showers, and [other things],” he said.

“So it’s very difficult during sunny days, we have a family further inland and that’s where we go to get water, my son and I would go there to collect water for our family.

“Sometimes, we make a trip twice a day to our other house and family living near the road.”

But that is not the only challenge the family faces as their increased water consumption can also translate to a rise in the water bill.

“Another problem with that is, the water bill for our family goes up as we keep collecting water from them.

“We have made a request to the Mormon Church in the other village nearby for a water tank, but we still have not heard back from them.

“Life would be so much easier for us if we owned a water tank.”

At the end of the day, the family says it is still happy despite their numerous day-to-day challenges and are thankful for the generosity shown to them by various people.

“We enjoy life in Samoa,” said Mr. Mamea.

“We can’t imagine living elsewhere and here in Samoa, we live on our own lands and get to do whatever we want on our land.

“You will never starve if you live in Samoa. The other beauty of life in Samoa is the love of our people.

“Even if we are not related by blood, people will still welcome you in their homes with open arms and serve you with the best they have.

“That’s why I say that you can never starve in Samoa, also we get our blessings from serving our elders and serving God.

“And that’s the foundation of the life that I build with my family, we may be poor, but we strive and do our best to serve our elders and serve God.

“We have a plantation and I am also a carpenter, we are so blessed and we are thankful.”

Anyone interested in helping the Pili family access a water tank can make contact with them on 7641723.

The Family of Nive Tauanu'u (Fufilled)

Photo: Samoa Observer.

UPDATE: This water tank has been Donated on behalf of,
Vitoria Tanuvasa

Life isn’t easy for Nive Tauanu’u, a 35-year-old mother-of-six from Savai’i, but a desire to secure a better home for her children keeps her motivated every day, rain or shine.

Mrs. Tauanu’u, who lives with her husband and children in their small faleo’o (traditional Samoan house) on the northeast side of Savaiʻi island in Samoa told the Village Voice of her financial troubles.

They depend mainly on the land for food and money, as they are both unemployed.

Having no access to clean running water and electricity is only part of the struggles the family of eight continues to face on a daily basis.

The other main challenge they face is not having a proper and secure home for her children, said Nive.

It’s something she dreams will be transformed in the near future.

Nive said they plan to build a more steady house.

“When it rains, the water gets inside the house because it’s an open house and only one side of the house is covered. The roof keeps leaking and it’s something that we are working hard to fix.

“But because we both do not work, it’s really hard to save money for that.

“My children are young and the money we get from selling our vegetables and crops goes into buying food for our family and for our children’s school.

“We sometimes ask our parents for help and they always lend us some money. My husband helps me around the house with preparing meals and working hard on our plantation while I look after our children.

“But that’s something we are hoping to get. A proper home for my children and family.”

While Nive says that she is grateful for the gift of life, like any parent, she wants to give her children the best.

“We don’t have access to clean running water here,” she said.

“We also don’t have electricity. But I guess the best part about that is that we don’t have to worry about paying bills and all that.

“We get water from our other relatives and use their electricity to charge our phones and other stuff.

“I used to live with my parents, but we were given this land by my parents so I can develop my own family and build a life for my children.

“That’s what we are doing at the moment. Each day we work hard and make good use of the land to help us raise our kids.

“I don’t dream of having a two-story house or something fancy. All I want is a secure and proper home for my children.

“Just a brick house where we won’t have to worry when it rains in case the water gets inside the house. We don’t want them to keep living in this small fale all their lives.

“As parents, we are really trying our best, but it’s very difficult and life is really hard for us. I mean, we do feel happy when it rains as we get to store water for us, but when it rains all throughout the day and night, our house is not in the proper state to shelter our children and family.

“So we really need some kind of assistance to help us make our dream come true. We would appreciate any help and anyone who is willing and kind enough to lend a hand and help us.”

Nive and her family can be contacted on the number, 7799261.

Donate Toward a Water Tank

 

There are many more families in need of clean drinking water, and you can help donate towards providing relief to these families. Included below are the receipts of previous water tanks we have purchased, so you can get an idea of the costs involved and a donation form to easily make a donation! Thank you for any support you can provide!

 

Please note, tanks towards familiess in Savai’i are an extra $600 Tala ($300 Tala for Transportation & $300 Tala for Accomodation for tank instalation workers)