Need for proper shelter

By Nefertiti Matatia ,

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SEEKING A NEW HOME: Vai Tavete in need of a home.

SEEKING A NEW HOME: Vai Tavete in need of a home. (Photo: Misiona Simo)

Vai Tavete is in need of proper a shelter.

He lives in a rundown house in the village of Falefa. 

For three years, the 47-year-old has continuously struggled to sleep in a house that shakes every time he moves. 

What’s even worse is that the location of the house is close by the valley. To have poumuli poles that cannot hold the house steady is the risk that he lives with every day.

The foundation of his house is not cemented. It is made out of woods which are normally used to build Samoan houses. Its texture is not strong too.

Speaking to the Village Voice team, Mr. Tavete says all he needs is a home to live peacefully in.

“The roof of my house does not leak when it rains but there is a problem that I normally face. The foundation is not safe, especially with my experience of Tropical Cyclone Gita.”

“The strong winds have left my house crooked. It does not look much like a home but it is all I have,” he said.

Mr. Tavete explained when it rains there is nothing he can do to prevent his house from getting wet.

He stated the reason there are less belongings in his house is because they were damaged by the rain. 

“I have gotten pieces of iron roofing that is shielding just the fence of the house. But it does not cover everything.”

“I struggle to block the rain out because I still have not been able to fix the tarpaulin. I have managed to get one, but there are no nails to set it up.”

Having no water supply and electricity is another issue that Mr. Tavete faces.

There are so many unfulfilled wishes. Even though he is working, Vai says the money he makes is not enough to solve the problem that he lives with.

“I work as a fisherman in Apia and I sleep on the fishing boat throughout the whole week. Last week when I got paid it was only $50.” 

“I mostly have fish for dinner. It is the only nourishment that I could have on the daily basis.”

Mr. Tavete adds the kitchen he cooks his food in is small.

“I don’t have any kitchenware. For me as long as there is a pot for my meal to make it to the next day. I don’t make a fuss because this is all that I have.”

He also mentioned that he uses a pit toilet, which is a health risk.

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