Making the move, and never looking back

By Vatapuia Maiava and Ilia L Likou ,

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THE UPS AND DOWNS OF RELOCATION: Leitu Sefo, from the village of Falelauniu.

THE UPS AND DOWNS OF RELOCATION: Leitu Sefo, from the village of Falelauniu.

Moving is never easy, especially when you have to relocate your whole life to a different area.

Leitu Sefo, from the village of Falelauniu, was among the Sogi residents who had to relocate and although it wasn’t easy, her family has still managed to make it work.

Leitu mentions that the move was actually a lot better than they thought and they have never looked back since.

“Ever since we moved up here from Sogi, there has been much change,” she told the Village Voice.

“We now have a lot of space to do a lot of things such as planting crops. Back in our old village we only had space for the house and we couldn’t really do much else.

“The soil was bad too so nothing grew at all. We are happy about the move.”

The extra space they now have is used for their plantation which provides both food and income for the family.

“We can now make money by selling crops such as bananas and breadfruit,” Leitu said.

“My dad works very hard to provide as much as possible for the family because he can see how fast life is moving forward.

“It’s just me, my family and my father living here and my father loves to work on his plantation. He’s always in the plantation growing things we can either eat or sell.

“My father works with the one aim of giving as much as possible to his family before his time comes.”

Leitu says that the soil in Samoa can provide so much for those who learn how to cultivate it.

“So much grows on our soils and I can’t stress that enough,” she said.

“The problem is that many people don’t see the value of the land they live on. They just see a place to live on rather than looking at it as a way to generate some money.

“When treated properly, the land can take care of you and your family even when you don’t have any money. It will give you food all year round and it is free.”

But although there are many upsides to the relocation, Leitu says they are still in need of help.

“For us who moved from Sogi, we still need help from the government,” she said.

“We asked the government to help with our relocation here and S.L.C. gave us a bit of money to help out but it wasn’t enough.

“It’s not easy to relocate your whole life to another area so we are still in need of help from the government.

“We are living on this land on lease and so any money we get goes towards paying the lease rather than developing our homes. We really need the governments help still and that’s my only request to them.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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