Samoa without Poverty?

By Vatapuia Maiava ,

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CRIES FOR HELP FALLING ON DEAF EARS: Nive Tulaga in front of her house with two of her children.

CRIES FOR HELP FALLING ON DEAF EARS: Nive Tulaga in front of her house with two of her children. (Photo: Misiona Simo)

There have been many claims that there is no poverty in Samoa but our eyes will always tell a different story to what our ears hear.

We have child vendors everywhere; beggar’s on the street and if one takes time to drive in the rural areas you will notice that there are definitely people living under that poverty line.

One lady in particular from Poutasi and Falealili is finding the village standard of living just a little bit too difficult to handle.

Barely getting by every day, Nive Tulaga has found herself caretaking for her elderly mother and putting her five children in school all with what she earns selling crops from her small plantation.

“Life in the rural villages is hard,” she told the Samoa Observer.

“I am currently unemployed because I was asked to come here and look after the family but now I’m trying to find another job to help out with everything here at home.

“We need money to help with everyday life; I have a sibling in Apia who works but they need to support their own family but for us we are struggling.

“We just got our children’s school bills and it’s pretty expensive especially with the School C and S.S.L.C. bills.”

Aside from not being able to earn any decent money, Mrs. Tulaga also claims that the cost of living is too high and the goods at shops are getting more and more expensive.

“The cost of living is too high nowadays,” she said.

“If you don’t have work then your children won’t eat… simple as that; right now we are living on our plantation and that is also our source of money.

“There is so many things to do here in the rural villages and we don’t know where we can find the money to do them all.”

But what can be done to help those who are struggling?

Mrs. Tulaga offers a solution for Samoa’s Government.

“They (the government) should find new ways of creating employment for people in the rural villages,” she said.

“I applied for a job at T.A.T.T.E. and they said for me to wait and I have been waiting; I’m just grateful for the flea market which I have been using to sell my goods.

“I also worked at Seafood but the pay was not enough to support the family; I am currently the caretaker of my mother.”

“It’s just not easy taking care of someone when you don’t have enough money; When we get fa’alifu then that is what we feed my mother; if we get just a bit of money then we make something nicer for her; and if we just have tea then that’s all we can provide her.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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