Families fear severe flooding

By Nefertiti Matatia ,

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Semo Soialealasolo speaks out about the challenges he faces.

Semo Soialealasolo speaks out about the challenges he faces.

Having no control over the Vaisigano River has left Semo Soialealasolo worried.

The father of eleven from Vaisigano spoke about the devastation the people of their village go through every time there is heavy rain.

“Each person in my village suffers terribly whenever it floods,” he said. 

“Last night (Thursday) the water was so high and I feel for these families who live close to the river.

“The water reaches your knees, but it is nothing compared to how high the water can rise if the weather continues this way.”

He says the wall currently under construction alongside the Vaisigano riverbanks will not be strong enough to stop floodwaters from entering their residences.

“I have lived here all my life and I have noticed the water flow patterns. Despite how we try to avoid the floodwaters, it will still reach us because this is the path where the water flows.

“If the water is coming from both sides, then no doubt it will damage the wall that they are trying to build because when we have heavy rain, the river will burst its banks and we cannot stop it. 

“Water will come from the inland where the houses are located, and where the river is located. So we are caught up in the middle,” he added.

Mr. Soialealasolo shared to the Village Voice team that they have tried to prevent the water from entering, but it was unsuccessful. 

“People have their belongings ruined in this kind of weather. 

“Everyone should stay alert and place their valuable belongings somewhere that is high and safe.”

Having so many people in his family is the reason he has long thought of relocating.

“We have always had the thought in mind that we should move elsewhere because of what always happens when there is heavy rain.

“There are land available everywhere in Samoa, but we have to buy it unlike the land that we have here, which is rightfully ours. We want to have a land somewhere else, but because of insufficiency, nothing could be done.”

There are four who work in his family, four children who are still in school and his other three children are with his wife’s family looking after their grandmother.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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