Struggling with the rising cost of living

By Vatapuia Maiava and Pai Mulitalo Ale ,

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SELLING GREEN COCONUTS TO SURVIVE: Sii Auatama, 44, from the village of Vaitele.

SELLING GREEN COCONUTS TO SURVIVE: Sii Auatama, 44, from the village of Vaitele.

Si’i Auatama, from the village of Vaitele, is not ashamed to say it.

The rising cost of living is a menace and she believes many people are suffering silently.

The hard working mother says that they can always rely on the land and ocean to provide for them but without money, there is little you can do.

“You know what, come to think about it the cost of living has gotten ridiculously high over time,” Sii told the Village Voice.

“If you go to the shop then you will realize that there are many things that are getting so expensive and we can’t afford a lot of what we need.”

“Yes we can rely on the ocean and our plantations but there are always things we need to buy. So if the cost of living increases then so should the money we make from what we sell.”

With government programmes aiming to help the people of Samoa with improved agriculture methods, more opportunity for businesses, Si’i says she is happy that the government is doing so much for the people now.

“There are a few really nice government programmes coming up which helps struggling people,” she said.

“One is S.B.D.C. and I forgot the name of the others. I always see the ads on TV and I am glad there are people out there with programmes set up to help us.”

“Although there are programmes already existing, we still need more programmes.”

Sii admits that she makes quite a bit of money every day through green coconut sales but it all depends on the customers she gets.

“This is all my family has to earn money,” she said.

“We sell green coconuts and if we don’t have any to sell then we go fishing and sell our catches. No one in my family currently has jobs and so we rely a lot on these things.

“The money is actually pretty decent. On good days I would sell 50 green coconuts at $2 each and that means I made $100 on that day.”

“Once we get the money it goes straight to many different expenses. I pay the cash power, the children’s schooling expenses and then we have the normal daily expenses such as food and so on.”

All in all, Sii says life isn’t easy but it’s only going to get tougher.

“We have family overseas who help us out every now and then,” she said.

“I have stayed in this village for very long now and although life isn’t easy, we do what we can to survive.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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