Unhealthy living standards worry
Urban migration is not uncommon in Samoa.
But what some families realise when they do that is land is very limited.
For Jimmy Toala, from the village of Le Usoalii o Seumanutafa at Aai o Niue, his family has been living in a very crowded area for far too long.
With houses only a meter apart, Jimmy says that living like this is simply not healthy.
He says that houses are so close together that one family knows exactly what goes on in another family’s house.
“A really big issue is the environment we live in,” Jimmy explains to the Village Voice.
“It’s not healthy living like this and it causes a lot of problems. The houses in this area are too close together and it’s not a good way to live.
“The air we breathe is sometimes not good and when a family fights in their house then everyone can hear what’s going on. It’s not hard to know what’s going on with other people’s families.”
Another issue Jimmy’s family currently faces is the behaviour of the youth.
“As you can see, this is the living standard that we have,” he said.
“One family occupies this space. We have a lot of trouble with the youth in the area; we have young people stealing from others, others taking what they want.
“Even with our house in this state, some youth still try to steal from us as if there’s gold hidden here. And with our houses built like this, it’s not hard for people to climb in and take what they want.”
Jimmy says that houses in his area are easy targets for thieving youth because it’s easy to break into.
He says one solution to the problem is getting the village council in his area running at full strength.
“We have village councils here and we have just revived the discipline system,” Jimmy said.
“I think that’s why the youth are like this; they (youth) have gotten worse ever since we stopped the meetings to discipline rule breakers.
“I think the best solution lies within the power of the village heads.”
Asked about what he wishes for most, Jimmy says his only dream is for a land to call his own.
“My one and only wish is to have a piece of land for my family,” he said.
“We are living with our elderly parents and they have been exposed to this type of life for far too long. I want to give them a better life to rest.
“This is all we can afford for now but I want to give the oldies a good life. There is much that we want to do with our land and house to improve our living but it’s not easy.”