Luatua tackles changes, calls on govt. to be vigilant

By Aruna Lolani ,

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WORD OF WARNING: Luatua Tavaga Lagaata Gase of Lalomanu.

WORD OF WARNING: Luatua Tavaga Lagaata Gase of Lalomanu.

If the Village Councils are making an effort to maintain the integrity of Samoan culture and traditions, why is the government not doing the same?

The question was posed by Luatua Tavaga Lagaata Gase, of Lalomanu, when he spoke with the Village Voice team yesterday.

“Our village is doing great,” he said. “The Village Council and the church are doing a wonderful job.”

But peaceful living and harmony are disrupted by problems related to the government.

“I think the only problem that some of us are facing, especially the ones residing on the mountains, is not having access to the government’s water yet,” he said. 

“Ever since the tsunami, they haven’t had any access to tap water of their own.

“At the moment, their water is being supplied by the government’s water truck, but it’s not always reliable. 

“I have some relatives staying up there and I feel for them because we all know how it feels when we don’t have water.”

According to the 38-year-old, the majority of the village has access to running water.

But 40 percent of the villagers - who are residing on the mountains - are struggling.

Luatua also expressed his concerns about the high cost of living. 

“The cost of living is too high. The number of unemployed people has increased and opportunities at the market for farmers are not that great.

“I would like to advise the government to help out on this, especially with Chinese shops settling in almost every month.

“Trust me, as soon as the Chinese completely take over, the Samoans won’t have any more power to fight for what belongs to them.

“That’s why I go against the Chinese bringing in their businesses; we shouldn’t be trying to develop our country like other countries.

“We should be going on our own pace not trying to catch up fast with other countries. We should just go with our flow. 

 “It’s true, some may have said that the Chinese are cheap, but they don’t know the quality behind those products.

“We have limited resources so we should be depending on each other not other countries.”

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