Not all soil fertile

By Vatapuia Maiava and Ilia L Likou 15 September 2016, 12:00AM

Contrary to popular belief, Samoa isn’t not only covered by fertile soil.

We have people living on different types of soil such as volcanic lava fields, slimy mangrove areas and sometimes, infertile normal soil.

For a 52-year-old mother from the village Fagafau, Nu’u, Koloseta Tautua strives to do the best she can for her family but nothing seems to work out for her.

“The family’s current plan is find ways to try and do a plantation,” she told the Village Voice yesterday.

“We have tried countless times but it always fails. The soil isn’t fertile here because the crops grow a little then it drops dead.

“My poor children and I have been making every effort possible to grow a small plantation to feed the family but nothing seems to work.

“The dirt is good for growing. Only banana trees grow on our land but even that doesn’t grow properly.”

Living alone with her children far from their home in Savaii has proven to be a struggle on its own.

“It’s just me and my children,” Fagafau said.

“Two of my children are currently employed right now and their wages are the family’s only source of income right now.”

With long waits in between pays, Fagafau and her family will sometimes go long periods of time without any money at all.

“My eldest son gets his pay every fortnight and his younger brother gets money every week,” she said.

“We barely get by with their pays but yes, that’s how we get our sugar and bars of soap, through their hard work. My family is actually from Savaii and the father of the family is still there.

“If we make enough money then we often send some over to Savaii to help him out over there.”

The family even resorts to loans to make ends meet at times.

“I am not ashamed to admit it but my family does need help,” Fagafau said.

“Life is so limited to us every day because we don’t have enough to do much. When we are desperate which is most days, we make small loans.

“Waiting for my sons pay for two weeks is a big blow to my family.”

But the poor mother tries to be as optimistic as possible with her current situation.

“I do count my family as blessed for some things,” she said.

“We have electricity and water unlike many other families in the villages. We do have issues with the water.

“The main water pipe line is very far and by the time the water gets here it’s just drips. Life isn’t easy living on drips but I guess it’s better than nothing.”

But as optimistic as one can get, reality will always manages to creep in.

“I am not going to lie, the cost of living is very high nowadays,” she said.

“With my family, if we have small things like sugar and a bit of food then I consider us very lucky. Things are just not cheap anymore.

“Another thing we count ourselves lucky with is that we have no village obligations here. We do have church obligations though.” Finally, Fagafau is disappointed with the lies of Samoa’s politicians.

“I really don’t understand the government,” she said.

“They change so fast after the elections. They make so many promises when they are trying to win and even till now they don’t honor what they said they’ll do.”

By Vatapuia Maiava and Ilia L Likou 15 September 2016, 12:00AM

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