A plea from elderly mother
An elderly mother, Silaumua Leitu, from the villages of Manono and Vaoala, has called on the authorities to do something about the growing cost of living.
She said the increasing prices of everyday goods has made it virtually impossible for poor people to advance their lot in life.
“I’m a 61-year-old mother of seven children,” she tells the Village Voice.
“I’ve been living long enough to know the changes we have and how badly people are suffering from it.
“The imbalance between the minimum wages and prices of everything is wide, people have no other choice but end up stealing and committing crimes and many will be left struggling.”
Sixty-one years of struggling gives her a good perspective.
“I thank God I have made it this far. My children and my family are well taken care of. We all work hard.”
But the cost of life cannot continue to be left the way it is.
Silaumua said she has had enough and believes that it’s time for the government to step in to help.
“The cost of living is getting too high for many of the families here in Samoa,” she said.
“I have noticed prices for some everyday goods being raised to the point where it’s hard to afford them.
“It’s hard because people in Samoa don’t get paid well enough to afford many things. And if the prices continue to increase then people will encourage doing other things to get what they want.
“Some will be forced to steal, some will force to kill others and families will be forced to sell their lands and even homes to try and live.”
Sialaumua added that $100 is like one tala these days.
“A hundred tala is not enough to cover the family’s needs for two days,” she said.
“Then throwing the high cost of living into the mix, it’s only going to get worse. For my family personally, once we get $100 for the family then it’s gone very quickly on sugar, food for the family and other small things.”
On the other hand, Silaumua says that families have to get used to this unaffordable condition.
“The important thing is we are happy,” she said.
“When it comes to money then we suffer but as a family, all we need to do is be happy. Aside from my children’s jobs we have our back up plan, which is the plantation to help us out.”
Lastly, she said she wants the government to act on the cost of living.
“I want the government to measure the cost of living against the struggling people of Samoa. They should look at how much every day people need help.”