Reality of life in “paradise”

By Ilia L. Likou 21 January 2017, 12:00AM

Fa’avae Asueru, 52, of Lelata believes that without hard work, survival these days in Samoa is very difficult. 

 “Life isn’t easy anymore, the high cost of living is killing us every day and that’s the truth,” he told the Village Voice.

“I believe 99 per cent of families in the country face the same problem. And my family is no exception.”

He didn’t want to go into detail but he said “we are all living the same nightmare. 

 “The only time we see money is when we get paid and that’s it. When it comes to fa’alavelave, church and village obligations, and other stuff then that’s another burden.

“We make loans and those loans take ages for us to pay and in the end the only money left in the account is $5,” he admitted. 

“And that’s the only option that most of our people are turning to now for help - loans. Which is not a good thing.” 

Fa’avae compared the cost of living in Samoa to as far away as the moon. 

The father said the Prime Minister should consider such circumstances faced by many Samoan people today. 

“He (Prime Minister) should have a heart to think about those that work outside the sun and the rain every day.” 

He said labour work is the only type available to people like him.

Finding good “employment opportunities for people like us” he said is very difficult. 

“If we get one, the salary we get is very low.”

Fa’avae puts the blame for the Samoan people’s struggles on the current government. He said the Prime Minister consistently tells the country “there is money in the land but that’s not true”. 

“Because you need money to purchase what to grow on the land. 

 “We just can’t go and grow anything and hope to get something back from it ...we need to buy chemicals and other stuff to help in growing crops.

“I just want to remind him that even finding a tala on the land as he often speaks about is difficult.”

Fa’avae says, the Prime Minister should think outside the box “not just throwing us useless tips to think about”.

Concerned with what the future holds, “If we can barely survive today because of the high cost of living and low income, I wonder what tomorrow will bring”.

“What’s the future holds for our children in the next few years?” he questions. 

“We’re struggling,” he said exasperatedly. 

He said ‘I think the Prime Minister is only looking at those with good education and are living in a high quality if life.

“He hardly turns his head to us that are struggling but I think it would be good for him to open his window one day and look at us while we’re sweating in the sun to provide for our families.” 

By Ilia L. Likou 21 January 2017, 12:00AM

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