A woman who spoke to Samoa Observer on condition of anonymity, told of her concerns about being pushed around at the Fugalei Market and the continuing problems of the leaking roof.
She is one of the vendors selling flowers.
“It’s sad to see how small vendors have been pushed outside because of the increasing numbers of booths inside the market.” she said.
“You see when it rains, some farmers and those who sell flowers, end up outside or on the veranda of the market to sell their products.
“That’s not good for us. It’s as if we’re not paying any rent.
“I think the growing numbers of businesses and shops that are being built in the market will result in us being outside the whole day.
“I’m not sure why they allow these business booths to run inside the market leaving no space for farmers and other vendors.
She said that the other problem that they are experiencing is the continuous leakage of the market.
“Come here one day during the rainy season and you’ll see for yourself what is happening,” she said.
“The rain comes in, and there’s nothing else that we can do to hide from the rain so the best option is for us to go home.
She said that the ministry that deals with Fugalei Market should look into ways to deal with this.
“We didn’t pay money to be pushed around,” she said.
“We didn’t pay our rent to face the sun and the rain every day while other businesses are inside and have nothing to worry about.
“The roof continues to leak whenever it rains, and we report it and still nothing happens. The only time they showed up was when we told them to come and look at the water ...and still nothing.
“It’s really sad because we are asked to pay for the rent even though we cannot display any of our products especially when it rains.
“The thing is they need to fix the roof and we also need to be treated the same as others and not be pushed around like idiots.
“Now, another service area is being built right behind where we used to sell our flowers and we might end up somewhere else.
“We shouldn’t be treated this way, we need to be treated like others who run businesses inside the market.
“I think they don’t care about us; it must be because they only earn a little from our rent that we pay.”
But the Acting General Manager of the Accident Compensation Board, Fauono Fuimaono told Samoa Observer that they’re not pushing any businesses around at the market.
“For flower growers, there are 18 blocks for them to sell their flowers.
“The space is adequate for them throughout the whole week as you can see at the back.
“Most of them only show up on Fridays, Saturdays and also Sunday mornings, because these are the days that most people want to buy flowers.
“They’re used to it.
She said that the booths inside the market are not new.
“They were all built at the same time during the construction of the market.
“We still have spaces in some areas of the market for farmers to sell from. The only thing that we’re looking at now is the repairing of the market from the leakages as mentioned.
“We have work underway to maintain the market and we’re trying to do the best we can for the betterment of all the vendors at the Fugalei Market.”
Fauono said that the A.C.C. is looking at possible ways to make sure that everyone is safe during both rainy and sunny seasons.
“I think an option is for a tarpaulin or an extension to the sides of the market, but we’ll look into it,” she said.