Local vendors at the Savalalo Flea Market are still waiting for the government to deliver on its promise for a new market.
Since the market was demolished by fire several years ago, vendors have had to make do with stuffy, humid and sometimes leaking conditions of the make shift tents that act as a temporary place of business.
But two vendors told the Samoa Observer they continue to put hope on a promise by the government to erect a new market. They say this is critical for their growth.
Market vendor, Tele’a Samoa, said it is sad that another year has started and yet nothing is happening.
“We are still waiting for the Samoa Land Corporation to tell us if the government will build a proper building for us to sell our handicrafts,” he said.
“The huge problem that we face now is that our customers mainly, tourists, can’t stand the heat when they come to have a look at what we sell."
“The safety of our handicrafts is also at risk because once it rains, our ie lavalava’s as well as puletasi hanging outside end up getting wet.”
Asked if they had put a proposal to the government through the Samoa Land Corporation, he said: “We were told by the Samoa Land Corporation that they are waiting for government’s approval.”
Overall during the Festive season, Tele’a said: “A lot of our customers have come to buy t-shirts or necklaces, ie lavalava, to take back home and I usually earn about $2000 a week during this time of the year."
“We started off our business two years ago and this is our main income that actually helps us parents to support our three children.”
Similar sentiments were echoed by Fou Ah Ching from the village of Faleula.
She said the government needs to build a proper building for them.
“We are still waiting for that time to come,” she said.
“Another problem that we face is the space, there are a lot of stalls inside the market but it is not big enough for us to display our handicrafts."
“We are urging the government for a proper building for us to sell our handicrafts because this is what we do to earn money for our family’s survival.”
It was not possible to obtain a comment from the Samoa Land Corporation yesterday.