The challenges of urban migration

By Vatapuia Maiava and Ilia L. Likou ,

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LIVING ON RURAL AND URBAN LAND IS GOOD FOR DIFFERENT TYPES OF PEOPLE: Galoma Eliuta, 70, from the village of Falelauniu and Manono.

LIVING ON RURAL AND URBAN LAND IS GOOD FOR DIFFERENT TYPES OF PEOPLE: Galoma Eliuta, 70, from the village of Falelauniu and Manono. (Photo: Ilia L. Likou)

It’s common for villagers to migrate from rural areas to urban areas in search of a better life.

Yes there are more job opportunities in the town areas and it’s also close to many great schools.

But many find out the hard way that it’s not all that great.

Galoma Eliuta, from the village of Falelauniu and Manono, is one of them.

The 70-year-old moved from his rural village of Manono to Falelauniu and found out that it’s not that easy being an urban dweller.

“Living on land near the town area is very crucial to the lives of many Samoan people,” he told the Village Voice.

“It’s important for the children who are schooling and also for those who are working. It makes it easier to get to and from school and work as opposed to living in faraway villages.

“I am grateful that we have land here which makes life a little easier but it still doesn’t compare to the perks of land in the rural villages.”

Galoma says there are perks with living in both types of villages in Samoa but it’s wise to really think about which suits you better.

“Having land in the town area is okay because it’s good for work and school but the downside is, we can’t grow many crops on this land,” he said.

“The land is very limited and it’s not as fertile as land in rural villages. 

“I make my way to Manono a lot to take care of personal things and I always notice the big difference.”

He said that for majority of Samoa, rural villages will suit you well and only a few people can make it big in Apia.

“To put things into perspective, back in the days when I was living in the rural village my family would rely heavily on what we grew in our plantation but we had no money because we had no need for it,” Galoma said.

“Living here in town is different. So in other words, if you have a good job then living in town is for you. 

“But for majority of Samoa who rely a lot on farming practices, it’s best that you live on land in the rural area.” Galoma says that he really misses the old days because life was a lot simpler than having to deal with the tough decisions of the present.

“I actually miss the old days,” he said.

“It didn’t really matter how much money you made because almost everything was cheap. We didn’t have much money back then but I remember that corned beef was only 60cents.

“Everything at the shops was very cheap. Nowadays, you can make a lot of money but everything at the shops is very expensive.

“If you can afford it then good for you, but for many of us, it’s far too expensive for us.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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