Living on root crops isn’t easy

By Vatapuia Maiava and Ilia L Likou ,

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LIVING OFF OF THE LAND, EASIER SAID THAN DONE: Fa’alagi Folasa, 21, from the village of Toamua-Uta.

LIVING OFF OF THE LAND, EASIER SAID THAN DONE: Fa’alagi Folasa, 21, from the village of Toamua-Uta.

We often hear that the people of Samoa can live freely on land but it’s easier said than done.

For Fa’alagi Folasa, 21, from the village of Toamua-Uta, her family relies solely on root crops because they cannot afford what shops have to offer.

Part of the problem for Fa’alagi is not having money, but the other issue is the cost of it all.

“Right now I believe that life has become very expensive,” she told the Village Voice yesterday.

“The little we make within our family is not enough for everything we need like food. It’s just too expensive to purchase goods from shops.

“We have no one currently employed in my family, I did have a brother who had a job but right now he is unemployed but his job really helped the family even though he made little.”

Even with fertile soil, having no money is a hindrance for many families.

“The few cents we have shared between my family can’t buy anything and most days we can’t do much because we don’t have much,” Fa’alagi said.

“We have food sometimes but never money.”

But what is the daily life like for Fa’alagi?

“On a day to day basis I do normal chores, I do the washing, cook crops from our small plantation, and so on,” she said.

“Even though I’m pregnant, there is no room for laziness in the house. When my chores are done I have to find other ways to help my family.

“Our one and only source of food is from our plantation every day. We try and stay positive about it because at least we have root crops to give us the strength we need.”

Another issue is our culture costing so much at times.

“One of the reasons we don’t have much is because there are just too many cultural activities (fa’alavelave) that takes so much money,” Fa’alagi said.

“But I believe in the love of Jesus and that he will provide every day. We plant what we can plant but we don’t grow enough to sell, we use it all for consumption because we can’t afford items from the shop.

“We also can’t afford a toilet here at home. If we are to build one then we have to sacrifice a lot of things that we need.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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