It’s not collecting food that’s hard; it is looking for money.
And in Samoa today, almost everyone deals with money.
These were the sentiments of Ti’afau Tau, 47, from the village of Faleula, who works at the Ministry of Agriculture in Nu’u.
Mr. Tau met the Village Voice team while returning to work after his lunch break yesterday.
Mr. Tau said the money low-income families in Samoa make from their various jobs is not enough to match the expensive cost of living.
“I have been working here since 2004 and trust me, getting $259 fortnight is just not enough because of the cost of living we have here in Samoa.
“It is really not enough when you have to support your family as well as family obligations, as I said, it’s just not enough.”
Mr. Tau said food was easy to find but finding money was a major issue he faced daily.
“In Samoa food is everywhere like crops we get from our plantation right next to our house but we cannot sell them because there is only enough to feed us.
“Finding money today is really not easy because money we get from work is really not enough especially after paying the bills and the kids’ school expenses.”
Mr. Tau also insists that money is everything in Samoa nowadays.
“Money is everything here in Samoa because the old barter system, where you could exchange goods for goods, does not exist anymore.
“Money is also needed here in Samoa in order to buy household items like clothes, toilet paper, soap, washing powder and so forth.”
Mr. Tau added they had been asking the government for a pay rise but still nothing had been done yet so far.
“We, the workers, have been asking the government to at least get us a pay rise because $259 fortnight is not enough.
“People like us will continue to struggle because of the money we make, which does not match what we need to survive right now,” he said.