There are hardships, but there is no poverty
For Lesoa Kovati, from the village of Tanumapua, he feels that even though we have struggling families in Samoa, there is no poverty.
Aged 46, he admits that life is not easy, but that motivates him to work that much harder to take care of his family.
“When I look around I have noticed that life in Samoa is no longer easy,” he told the Village Voice.
“If I don’t work hard and struggle then my family won’t eat and my children won’t go to school. Everything has become really expensive which makes everything difficult for families.
“Back then, we could find things that were about one tala or maybe 50cents but now $100 will finish after just two shopping trips.”
According to Lesoa, there will always be the differences in opinions between the well-off and those who struggle; but in his opinion, life is getting too expensive.
“That’s the biggest problem I see here in Samoa; life has become very expensive,” he said.
“I think the government should find ways to help the people of Samoa in this regard. They should try and match the cost of goods to the Samoan people’s capabilities.
“This is not only for food items, if someone wants to build a house then the materials are so expensive; it almost costs $100 for one piece of timber.
“Not everyone is the same; the cost of living might be all right for those who have good jobs but it’s not easy for others who do not.”
Lesoa says that there is no poverty in Samoa, but that doesn’t make life an easier.
“I support what the Prime Minister says; you are only poor when you are lazy. Yes things are expensive but you need to keep trying no matter what.
“I have a business where I sell cooked taro but it’s not like I make money all the time. I still try though.”
Even while faced with the expensive reality of life, Letoa still tries his best to provide the best he can for his loved ones.
“The family relies heavily on our plantation,” he said.
“We cook the taro in an umu and then sell it. We also grow a lot of vegetables to sell and other things. My family does struggle though.
“Some of my children do well in school but only reach Form 5 because we can’t afford taking them to higher education.
“Even though there is much hardship in Samoa there is still no poverty. Poverty is not having access to taro, banana and so on. We can eat freely from the land.”