Savai’i father tells of climate change plight

By Ilia L Likou 01 November 2017, 12:00AM

Climate change is one of the greatest threats to Samoa’s coral reef. 

And because of this, our livelihood is affected, especially when we depend on the sea for sustenance. 

That was the opinion of 61-year-old father and grandfather, Fuiono Patolo of Falealupo to the Village Voice team yesterday.

Fuiono was raised in his village his whole life.

“Talking about the ocean, there’s a real threat now to many of us who rely heavily on the ocean for food every day. It’s not the same anymore,” he said. 

 “I know my village is no exception to many villages in Samoa that depend mostly on sea for livelihood.”

“And that’s the real truth for many of us here in Samoa and not only that, our source of financial income is also under threat.”

Fuiono also compared the past with today and how blessed we are to have the ocean to depend on. 

“Back in the days, we can go fishing and return early with heaps of kuikui, fugafuga and other sea shells for food and for money.”

“But that’s not the case today; our corals are dying because of climate change.”

“The truth is that we’ve experienced with our own eyes the effect of climate change and especially when we think of cyclones that struck Samoa in previous years.”

“Not forgetting the tsunami in 2009 and I think it’s something that we should think about.” 

“Personally I think the next 10 years will determine the drastic impact of climate change and this is because of climate change and the carelessness of people.”

He believes people have a part to play to save the ocean and our corals.

“I think carrying a reusable trash bag and picking up any rubbish you see on the beach is a quick and simple way to get involved.”

“Toxic materials often find their way into the ocean when they are not disposed properly, especially toxic wastes from factories around this part of the country.”

“Think of the ocean as your own body, if you fill it with unhealthy things, you will get sick and won’t be able to perform your best.”

“We have to bear in mind that the ocean isn’t any different, any toxic chemical that enters the ocean, affects its overall health and the people who rely on it,” Fuiono said.

By Ilia L Likou 01 November 2017, 12:00AM

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