No job, electricity and running water

By Nefertiti Matatia ,

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FAMILY STRUGGLES: Ufiau Petero, 57 year old mother from Leulumoega-tuai.

FAMILY STRUGGLES: Ufiau Petero, 57 year old mother from Leulumoega-tuai.

Despite the New Year, life is still the same for Ufiau Petero from Leulumoega.

The unemployed mother has faced water and electricity issues for so many years. 

Coupled with this is her wish for her 23-year-old daughter to find employment.

“There are only three people in my family, just me, my husband and our daughter. None of us work and for many years that we have lived here, there has been no water and electricity,” Mrs. Petero shared with the Village Voice team yesterday. 

“Luckily we were able to have a water tank donated to us by the village and now we depend on rainwater.”

“When there is no water in the tank, we walk to the other family’s house at Fasitoo-Tai to fetch buckets of water.”

She said whenever they have left over food; they tend to share it to their neighbours because they don’t have a refrigerator. 

The 57-year-old said they were both employed with her husband at one stage, but they had to leave their jobs because of their health status.

“I want my daughter to get a job, whatever job there is so that she will be able to help us with things such our church activities and our village obligations.”

“I used to work at Aggies, but I have resigned because I became ill and same thing goes for my husband, he is not strong like how he used to be,” Mrs. Petero added.

This is not the only problem they face; she said their house was also a daily challenge.

Their house is founded on a pile of rocks, with pieces of wood placed on top to help them sleep.  She stated that their home existed during Cyclone Ofa.  

“Since this house is very old and the roof is made out of Samoan coconut leaves, it leaks everywhere, so every now and then we make our way to the plantation to get some coconut leaves and weave it to avoid water from leaking inside.”

She says her husband has a plantation and this is their only source of income.

“I used to call my sister who lives overseas for help, but now she has migrated with her family and lives in Savai’i. If we have no sugar or anything, my husband goes to his plantation and gets his crops to sell which earns us about $100,” Mrs. Petero added. 

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