A better road would make our work easier.
But it would be even better if we have free water.
That is the opinion of 50-year-old, Taumaoe Upuese, from the village of Magiagi. The Village voice caught up with Taumaoe while he was on his way to work at his plantation yesterday.
“Life in the village is fine,” he said. “It’s peaceful down here at our side and we have the strongest Village Council governance.”
“With all the changes in Samoa our village is tightly governed. And this is why I prefer living in our village.”
But basic infrastructure is a major problem.
Take the road for instance
“Most families here in the village rely on agriculture to assist their families financially and also for food,” said Taumaoe.
“Families depend on agriculture for food and money, but it’s really hard for us to make our way to our plantation because of the bad conditions of our access roads.”
“But you see plantation helps with village contributions, church obligations, fa’alavelave and many others. That is the truth. This is why we need better access roads and why we really need help.”
The father also questioned the government about the water.
“What’s even sad is that we pay for our own water,” he said. “I don’t understand why Magiagi people are being charged with water yet it’s our land and our village where the water is stored.”
“This is why I wanted to ask the government on behalf of our village to look at this matter. We shouldn’t be charged when the water supply is from our village.”
“We own the land, we own the village, we also are responsible for caring for the water and yet we are still paying for it.”
Taumaoe said most families in the village are not happy about this.
“This can’t be done for all we know it’s our own water. We wanted to address the issue directly with the government. We want them to consider this seriously.”
Despite these challenges, Taumaoe said all is well for him and his family.
“My family loves the life here in the village; we are grateful for growing up here. We have everything we need.”
Taumaoe is a father of nine. Six of them are in school while the other three are working.