Niko Maiava, of Lotofaga Safata, is worried about the future of Samoa.
Speaking to the Village Voice team yesterday, the father of four is especially concerned about how the high cost of living is hurting people. He doesn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel in this situation.
“What’s with those developments like massive buildings, projects that cost us a lot of money yet at the end of the day we have to pay for it ourselves,” he asked.
“I mean the focus should be on people and the government should prioritise spending money on people.
“I’m not an economist but I think there’s a way to make sense of the current situation happening to our country.”
Niko knows someone will have to pay for all the spending.
“Our children will pay for it,” he said. “It’s going to be very difficult for them. What’s the use of those fancy changes and at the end of the day we’re still suffering? It’s not worth it.
“The fact is; most of our people don’t understand the reality that we’re living now, but we also have to use our common sense to figure out what life has waiting for us and our children in the coming years.”
One of the challenges, he said, is people’s ability to pay for basic things like food.
“For my family, it is just me and my wife and four children and I’m the one that provides for our family financially,” he said.
Even though he earns two hundred tala a week, he said it is not enough.
“The truth now is that many can’t afford to live off their wages and that’s one of the real issues in Samoa today,” he said.
He feels despondent but continues to keep a little glimmer of hope that if he continues to work using whatever opportunities and skills God has gifted him he might just be able to make it through all of this.
It is a tough life but he believes that, “all families in Samoa are struggling and my one (family) is no exception.
“That’s why I am doing this every day (go to work) to raise my children and my family.
“Looking at this amount of money, it’s not that I didn’t appreciate what God gives but to be honest, it goes very fast with everything we have to do.
“Yes we all know when you hold $100 it feels like a 10sene nowadays, I mean the money comes in on Friday and is all spent on the same day.
“I know it’s too hard to live with the struggle every day, as I’ve mentioned earlier, the money I earn from my salary didn’t reach the next day.
“It didn’t meet our family’s basic needs because money is always tight, the only time I see money is when I get paid, then the next hour it’s all gone.
“But, there’s nothing much we can do.
Niko works at one of the family’s plantations at Sa’anapu.