Village location, a real hindrance at times

By Vatapuia Maiava and Ilia L Likou ,

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LOCATION CAN BE A BLESSING AND A HINDERANCE: Fiaava’e Pouvi, 43, from the village of Mulifanua

LOCATION CAN BE A BLESSING AND A HINDERANCE: Fiaava’e Pouvi, 43, from the village of Mulifanua

Aside from the blessing of having a lot of land to cultivate, being located in the rural areas can also be a hindrance with it being very far from the central business district.

According to Fiaava’e Pouvi, from the village of Mulifanua, that’s the only problem they face. Travelling everyday to town to do shopping is no easy task, yet it has to be done.

“The only problem I can think of is getting to and from town,” she told the Village Voice.

“The distance from here to Apia is not short, so we have to wake up early in the morning and chase down a bus to town.

“We can’t buy many things out here so all our main shopping is done in Apia. It would be nice to have some bigger stores out in the rural areas so it’s a little easier for the families living here.”

Asked for a solution to the problem, Fiaava’e says that having a few supermarkets in rural villages will go a long way for the people.

“That would be my only request, some supermarkets which will benefit us out here,” she said.

“It’s not easy making the trip to town and back to do some shopping. Other than that, everything is alright with my family.

“We have enough to make ends meet. We have our tea for the morning and our meals throughout the day. We don’t suffer like other families.”

Putting that problem aside, Fiaava’e says that general life in Mulifanua village is great because of the great leaders whose heart is for the people.

“Everything in the village is alright because of the village committees,” she said.

“The womens’ and the mens’ committees do their best to help us all out. Every month, the village leaders always find a way to help out the people.

“If a mother of a family suffers then it’s her own fault because we are receiving so much help. We have to work hard to stand on our own two feet rather than always relying on others.

“The help is there from our committees, but we also have to help ourselves.” Fiaava’e says that there is peace and order when good village councils lead. The same cannot be said about urban villages. “Some villages in the urban areas aren’t like this,” she said. “They don’t have village heads keeping order and peace so everyone goes around doing their own things. But there are still those other urban villages who are trying to revive the strength of village heads.”

Furthermore, Fiaava’e says that a good village council will lead to a happy village.

“There is peace and order because of the village committees,” she said.

“They have meetings where they decide what’s best for the village and how else to help everyone. I cannot stress enough the importance of having great village leaders.”

Asked for one of the perks of being in a rural village, Fiaava’e says it’s the abundance of fertile soil. “One of the perks of living out in the rural areas is the land we can cultivate,” she said.

“We can easily develop our plantations out here that goes towards feeding the family and providing us with money through sales. “Almost everything can be done from a humble plantation. The money from produce sales can put our children through school as well as purchase some store-bought goods that the family needs.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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