The expensive cost of living is contributing to hardship and the rise of poverty in Samoa.
This is the firm opinion of Vaina Tuia, a 53-year-old-mother from the village of Utuali’i.
“It’s sad to say that our people are living under pressure because of the high cost of living and I’m sure everyone agrees,” she said.
Vaina, who looks after her family, said everyone has a gripe about how expensive things have become compared to the lack of money available.
“Does anyone in Samoa ever build a house from his or her own savings at the bank? No. Because we don’t have any savings. In fact hardly anyone has money”
That is why people loan, she added.
But even that comes at a cost.
“People are paying twice the amount that they loaned. In some cases, all the money you earn goes to paying the loan. So we are left with nothing.”
“The only time we see money in our hands is when we get paid and then the next day you go and ask for sugar and salt from your neighbour”.
She reminded that not all that glitters is gold.
“I am not saying that all these buildings and developments are not good for Samoa, but the real issue here is the high cost of living that most of us can hardly survive.”
She pointed out that many people these days are seen on the side of the road selling wares.
“That’s a sign of desperation and lack.”
So what is her solution?
“The government should help,” she said.
“They need to invest in creating a programme giving these people help to fund their own plantations or businesses.
“They should take people as their first priority, we all know that countless of villages in Samoa don’t have access to water supply.
“They walk in the sun to find water, for food and everything but it seems like they (government) don’t really care what many are going through.”
As for her, she is concerned.
“I’m worried. As a mother, I wonder what Samoa will look like in the next ten years.”
She said it is not beyond the realm of possibilities that a can of herring will soon not be affordable.