Paneta recognises signs of the times

If life is not hard, why are people begging on the streets? Why are there so many street vendors in Samoa? Why are crime figures spinning out of control?

These questions were raised by Panetafaimealelei Fou, 36, from Lepa, when he spoke to the Village Voice.

 “Personally, I believe that life is just getting harder,” he said.

“As a result, people are begging on the streets for money…

“Isn’t that a sign of poverty emerging in Samoa?

“It scares me because who know what the future holds?”

The father of four is a carpenter and a farmer.

He is the only bread-winner for his family of five.  

“We Samoans have so many obligations to focus on, not only with family matters, village affairs but church contributions too.

“Everything is based on money, money and money and that is why we are being pushed to the limit.”

One of the challenges is the lack of jobs, he said.

“Everything is about qualifications and experience. It’s so hard.”

Paneta said the only solution is to the most of what we have.

 “From my own experience, one way to overcome these challenges is to go back to the old way of doing things,” he said.

“We need to develop our plantations, plant more crops then sell it to people, if not use it for food.”

“Because nowadays, nothing is more beneficial than us turning back to our subsistence kind of life.”

Panetafaimealelei said that everything is fine with him and his family. 

They have access to electricity and water and they are happy.

He is alarmed however by the number of beggars harassing people on the streets. He said these are the signs of tough times.

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