Government promises change, but everything remains the same

By Vatapuia Maiava ,

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NO CHANGES: Luka Tominiko replacing the house destroyed by the cyclone despite the government promising assistance through Samoa Housing Corporation.

NO CHANGES: Luka Tominiko replacing the house destroyed by the cyclone despite the government promising assistance through Samoa Housing Corporation. (Photo: Vatapuia Maiava)

“The government has never helped us out,” confessed 52-years-old, Luka Tominiko, from the village of Solosolo

“We first started off poor and sold iced flavored milk to make money. We lived on the money we got from selling things and some money from family living overseas.

“The government has never reached out to help us in any way at all even when we lived a very poor life.”

Is there any instance that you really needed help but never received any?

“There was a programme with the Samoa Housing Incorporation that allowed people who were affected by the cyclone to make loans,” Luka explained.

“But when my wife went to make a loan they said only employed people can make a loan. Our first house was destroyed by the cyclone and now we are building the house over there.

“We thought the government was going to help with that programme but they rejected us saying it’s only for those who are capable of paying the money back.

“We have cows and we have our plantation but that still didn’t count. We are now building the house with the little we make.”

What is your current source of income?

“We sell from the plantation to make money,” says Luka.

“We make enough to provide for our family and that’s about it. Nothing has been done by the government at all.”

Is there anything else you would like to share?

“During the election they kept telling us they will make changes but I haven’t seen any changes,” says Luka.

“The only changes I have seen are centered only in the town area where they build nice, new, big buildings. The changes have not yet reached families out here who work hard to provide for their families.

“I don’t think those who are running for parliament should make empty promises where they say they’ll do this and that but they don’t deliver.”

Apart from what you’ve told us, how is the general life out here in the rural village”

“Other than what I have said, I don’t find any problems with life out here,” says Luka.

“Looking after my family, village obligations, church commitments and putting my children through school isn’t all that bad if you work hard.”

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