Having no job, no food and no house is what defines poverty; however that is not how life is in our country.
Ioane Sui Faatau believes that Samoa is free of poverty.
“We have food every day.”
“People will only go hungry because they chose to,” he added.
Mr Faatau said Samoa is rich with its land.
The 53-year-old father and his wife Losi lives with their 3-year-old son in a small house at Siumu.
“As you can see around our house is our plantation, but what you can see from here is what I can do with the strength I have in me,” said Faatau.
“I rely on my plantation for our every day needs for my family.”
With my plantation I earn about $100 every week and then a $50 extra from our Nonu sales.
Faatau said the $150 he earns every week is more than enough to cater for his family.
“We don’t really waste money on useless things, we budget it wisely for our church offerings and also for our weekly shopping.”
Asked about how life is in his village.
Faatau said life is easy in the village, only when some are lazy to do plantation, then it’s hard.
He also says that is why Upolu is filled with people because many of them want an easy life.
They depend on others to earn a living and they don’t want their hands to get dirty.
Asked about the cost of living?
Faatau agreed that living in Samoa is very expensive but as a farmer he said that can be solved.
“I see that people complain that the cost of living in Samoa is very high, however there is a way to solve it.”
“All you need to do is work on your own land, start a plantation so that you don’t have to depend on overseas products,” said Faatau.
“We can eat from what we grow in our backyards; we have our ocean to turn to.”
With all these imported foods into Samoa, we hear about the many diseases affecting our people, but in the olden days I never heard of these diseases.
Faatau believes that Samoa needs to look back to the olden days to learn from what our ancestors have installed for us.
What do you think about our government?
“I cannot judge that because the government is government.”
Faatau said the only time he had gone through hardship was when their house was blown away by Cyclone Evans in 2012.
“We were devastated, but we were able to rebuild again.”
“This house is what was left after cyclone Evans,” said Mr Faatau.
“We were devastated but we were able to rebuild again.”
“We didn’t know our house was gone, until we returned and everything was scattered around.”
“We came and lived in our open kitchen (umukuka) because there was no house, and we tried to piece up the scraps left after the cyclone.”
The government had offered help to other families, however many of the promises they made never happened.
“We also applied to the A.D.R.A. program for a house, but we were told that they prioritize the people who have no house.”