Families without water for years

By Aruna Lolani and Fetalai Tuilulu’u ,

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The only way she gets water is by filling up heavy buckets from the inner village and lugging them home.

The only way she gets water is by filling up heavy buckets from the inner village and lugging them home. (Photo: Fetalai Tuilulu’u)

Filiga Ta’alo, a mother of six has resided for more than 10 years at Leulumoega Uta and they haven’t changed a single thing about water problems. 

The only way she gets water is by filling up heavy buckets from the inner village and lugging them home.

But once she gets home she worries whether it is even safe to drink.

“Life without water is hell,” she said. 

“When there’s no water there’s no life.” 

“We always boil water for food whenever we fetch it.” 

“And even that supply is not guaranteed. 

“To be honest, we cannot afford a water tank.”

“There are about 10 families living in this neighbourhood. None of them has ever had water piped into their homes.”

“Instead the families in the inner areas turn on their taps for us to fetch water. This is how the vast majority of the neighborhood get access to water.”

“As you can see, the kids just got back from getting us some water for the weekend.” 

“WATER IS LIFE”: Filiga Ta’alo of Leulumoega Uta.
“WATER IS LIFE”: Filiga Ta’alo of Leulumoega Uta.

“We line up to fill our bottles and buckets, and the children take showers under the flowing water. 

Filiga says there are a few people in the area who have installed ground water pumps, but these are illegal.

“Well that’s the only thing we can do here because no matter how many requests are given to the government, they don’t care.” 

“We are told the water pipes can’t reach our homes and we have got to figure out how we fetch water.” 

“Getting water is a struggle every day of our lives.”

“We really need the government’s help to try and provide water tanks for us here, because to be honest, this is not our fault why we ask for help.” 

“Water is for everyone, and with this situation we desperately need water. We have the right to ask for a water tank straight from the government because it’s not our fault water pipes cannot reach our homes.” 

The mother admits Leulumoega Uta families are facing what they call water stress because of unreachable pipe lines. 

“When every drop of water matters, the fight for it is ultimately a fight for survival.”

“Please, we need water of our own.”

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