“We are poor, we barely survive each day”

The future looks grim for 70-year-old Ula Solomona and his family from Afia. 

If they are lucky, his working son brings home $100 a week, which they spend on basic items. Other times his take-home pay is less than that, but it is what it is. 

Mr. Solomona lives with his wife, his three children and grandchildren in an old looking house with a rusty roof. 

Speaking to the Samoa Observer, he said he laments the rising cost of living in Samoa. 

“The cost of living in Samoa is very expensive for those who are living in poverty. But I guess that is not the case for those that have enough money, like the rich and financially stable.”

“Our main concern is the financial support meaning because we are a poor family we barely survive each day. My son is the only one employed but his salary is not enough to cover the needs of our family alone,” he said.

The family also has its obligations to the church and the community. 

“Another expense is through church and community responsibilities because we are devout members of both. We have water and electricity but there are times when our water is disconnected – sometimes it goes off for as long as a week.”

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“During those times our family will have to seek elsewhere for accessibility to water, and that is a great struggle as well and we do not have a modern toilet,” he added.

Mr. Solomona also said that another worry is the land they are living on.

“At the moment we are living on Government owned land and they decide our fate and we fear that one day they will evict us.”

“We have lived on this land that we call home now for over 50 years and we also cannot use the land for a plantation - so all the trees that we already have is what we use like the banana trees.”

“Samoa is currently in the cyclone season and so that is also a great concern for the safety of our family but we will pray for God’s protection against any harm that may befall us,” he said. 

Mr. Solomona also mentioned that he is very grateful to the Government for the land that they are currently living on.

“I am old and my time will come but I am scared of what the future holds for my children and their kids of where they will continue to live their lives.”

“Despite our families struggle we always keep the faith in God because he is the key of blessings and for the life that we all possess we are also very grateful.”

“It is also my greatest wish that my children will not struggle in the future that is why I believe in education being the key to success.”

If you are willing to help Ula Solomona and his family contact the number 7749516.

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