Fesolai Alo at home inland of Faleasiu village. His family had been carting water by foot for the last 15 years
APIA, SAMOA – TUESDAY 20 FEBRUARY 2018: Twenty eight families from Sapulu and Lealaalii in Faleasiu received water tanks under the Civil Society Support Programme last week. The water tanks have been a huge difference for these families who did not have access to a consistent supply of water for the last fifteen years.
The stories of their struggles to cart water on foot twice or three times a day reveals the existing disparity in the social development of the whole country.
To sleep every night knowing that they are to make 2 to 3 trips back and forth in the scorching sun to collect water just to get by on a daily basis the next day. For the past 15 years since Fesolai Alo and his family lived in inland at Lealaalii – Faleasiu, it is the everyday norm for him and some of his children to make these trips in order for their family to get water.
“We have had some good days when it rains so it saves us a trip for the day. But on not so good days, it is a struggle for me and my family to try and save the little water that we are able to collect. This is very hard especially for a family of 10 adults and 4 children” Mr Fesolai Alo, [Water Tank Recipient, Sapulu – Faleasiu]
Earlier in 2017, CSSP worked with Fatuaiupu Consult, SUNGO and SBEC to assist the 15 additional villages pre-selected under the Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience (P.P.C.R) to access funds up to ST$50,000 for village development projects. The Enhancing the Climate Resilience of Coastal Resources and Communities (ECR) Project is supported by the PPCR of the Climate Investment Funds, which aims to provide incentives for scaled-up action and transformational change in integrating climate resilience into Samoa’s development strategies and programmes. The villages/districts, with PPCR-ECR project support, are to implement priority adaptation measures to manage climate and disaster-related threats and to strengthen information services and institutional arrangements for climate and disaster resilience. The selection of the 15 additional villages listed below came through the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment – Community Integration Management Plans team:
Fasito’o-tai, Vailu’utai, Faleatiu, Satapuala, Samea, Lepale (Fasito’o – uta), Satui & Avano (Fasito’o –uta), Sailoa & Matailiili (Fasito’o – uta), Lealaalii & Sapulu (Faleasi’u), Tauo’o & Moamoa (Faleasi’u), Malie, Tuanai, Utualii, Nofoalii and Leulumoega.
Fesolai Alo and his family is one of the 28 families from Sapulu and Lealaalii who received water tanks last week. These families have been visited and verified by CSSP and a technical team which include representatives from the World Bank and MNRE [PUMA Division].
According to Mr Fonoti Ferron Fruean [CSSP Project Officer – PPCR], “These families were identified by the Village Representative (VR) (sui o le Malō) as the most vulnerable because of their settlement location within the village. Their water supply is inconsistent. Water is a priority area hence why the village opted to put through in their proposal the families in this certain area of Sapulu and Lealaalii to address the issue of water supply in the village.”
Mrs Ailua Sauvao, the focal person for the water tank project of Sapulu and Lealalii, stated: “Before this support was given, some of these families suffered in the hot sun to collect and transport by foot water for their families inland. So for these families to receive these water tanks saves them time, money and energy. Not only that, having water tanks help improve the hygiene of these families.”
Siai Misa, also a recipient of a water tank stated; “Getting a water tank for our family has helped us greatly with our water needs. We can drink clean water and we are also able to use tank water for cooking. We are very happy to be able to have a more consistent supply.”
According to Mrs Ailua Sauvao, the VR for Sapulu and Lealaalii, the village is a third-time recipient of water tanks from development partners, but with the growing population of Sapulu and Lealaalii, there are still a lot more families who have moved inland and are in need of support to access a consistent water supply. She also stated, “Sapulu and Lealaalii are very grateful to both World Bank and C.S.S.P for the funding to implement this community development project that provides consistent supply for these 28 vulnerable families. This is certainly building the resilience of our communities especially in times of natural disasters.”
Another 58 additional villages are currently working with ADRA, SUNGO, Samoa Red Cross Society and CSSP to formulate projects for funding under the programme. Twenty eight (28) have been approved for funding, twenty nine (30) village proposals are currently being assessed.