Dwindling daily takings worries taxi driver
Meet Paul Fonotia from the village of Saleimoa.
Mr. Fonotia works as a taxi driver.
“It’s not the same anymore like the old days where you collect $70 to $80 per day,” he said.
“Things have changed because of the increasing number of taxis in the country. Also because many people have their own cars now.”
When the Village Voice team met Mr. Fonotia, he was waiting for a passenger in front of a shop at Saleimoa.
“This is us every day; you find a shadow to rest and wait for a passenger. The money I collect per day is $50.”
Mr. Fonotia says all the earnings he makes is used to support his family.
“I believe this is enough for us because my taxi has helped me and my family especially my children.
“My first priority is my children’s education and family so I have made sure they have everything that they need to survive from day to day.
“I don’t get enough rest because of my work but it’s my job to provide for my family and we all know how hard life is these days.
“If we don’t work, then we’ll starve to death.
“I mean in this life if we don’t work we won’t be able to get anywhere and our families will suffer and that’s why I am doing what I’m doing because I don’t want my family, especially my children to suffer.”
So how is life in the village?
“We have a very strict faigānu’u (village governance) in our village and all is well because of the strong village council,” he said.
“We don’t have any problems because the alii are looking after the village so everything is okay.
“It’s not a bad thing to have rules, because some are complaining about village councils but to us, we are used to it and live through it.
“That’s the reason why we have a very peaceful village here, because we have curfews to follow.”
Fonotia is based at the Tanoa taxi stand at Tuana’i.
Should you need taxi service, he can be contacted on mobile number 8400841. “We are open 24/7, and we serve with honesty.”