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The chilling reality of life in Samoa-post Pacific Games

Well now that the euphoria of the Pacific Games has dissipated, life in Samoa, as we know it today, is slowly and surely getting back to normal.

Unlike the last two weeks where there was certainly a buzz around town with the Games taking all the attention, this week we are back to the grinder so to speak.

Come to think of it, it was wonderful for Samoa to host the Games. We needed a break from all the negativity that been building up prior to the event.

The problem is that when problems aren’t fixed, they will always be there no matter what. We can try and pretend that they don’t exist. We can even try and decorate them so they don’t look like problems. And sometimes it works.

But it hardly lasts. Which is precisely what we see. In other words, we find those problems that were there before are still there, staring us in the face and screaming for solutions.

Today we believe our leaders should be reminded again on how important it is that they address instances of abuse of power, positions, wrongdoing and so forth in the public service. We believe that failure to do ultimately results in the most vulnerable people of this country being hurt and put at a disadvantage.

Indeed, the glow and buzz of the Games was fantastic while it lasted. But now that just about all our visitors have returned to where they truly belong, we are back to where we are and we find that what we are looking at is not pretty at all.

It’s undeniable that life in Samoa today is tough. In fact, to say life is tough is probably an understatement. Life is more than tough; it is atrocious for many people.

Look at the state of some mothers and their poor children and what they have to go through every day, just to make a tala or two in Apia and Salelologa.

If that’s not enough, consider those stories published in Samoa Observer’s weekly Village Voice, where families living in shacks and cookhouse-like homes dream of better living conditions.

What about families who are having to go without treated water? What about families who still do not have access to water at all?

Elsewhere, our leaders need to look at the growing number of Samoans – of all ages - who are being enslaved to run all over town to sell pins, cans of soda, twisties and air fresheners while their “Asian masters” sit in the shade and collect their handsome cash. Tell me this is not the independent Samoa our forebears had envisioned?

We talk a lot about freedom, we talk about being independent and yet do we really know what it means?

Without aid and handouts, where would Samoa be today? Does this Government have any realistic hope that Samoa will one day be able to stand on its own two feet without needing aid and hand outs?

Keep in mind that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Somebody has got to pay for this. And speaking of which, what is the impact of these debts being created by the Government just to make them look impressive?

How are our future generations going to pay for this mounting foreign debt, long after the leadership of today are six feet under?

Think about the rise in the basic cost of living and basic services.

Isn’t it downright cruel then that when people of this country are taxed everywhere we turn and yet we find that the cost of living, the cost of basic services and the cost of basic utilities continue to show no mercy to their depleted souls?

What percentage of those increases are the result of negligence, corruption and mismanagement by the public service?

And what is the Government doing about corruption in the public service? Is this Government really walking the talk when it comes to accountability, transparency and good governance?

Lastly, let’s think about consistency in justice and fairness.

During the past few months, we have seen so much inconsistency in the delivery of justice and the treatment of all people.

We have ordinary men and women who are jailed and punished for similar offenses where others are given a different treatment.

This is not justice, this is not fairness. Unless we live in a country where there are different rules for different people, we’d hate to think that this is normal.

This should not be normal. It should be frowned upon. Where is the outrage?

The point is that now that the Games are over and done with, the leaders of this country have got so much work to do.

Let’s get on with sorting out some of these problems. What do you think? Write and share your thoughts with us. Have a wonderful Wednesday Samoa, God bless!




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