Man worries about family after cyclone demolishes plantation

Tropical Cyclone Gita has left Ioane Ualoa and his family in a state of panic.

“The cyclone destroyed our plantation,” he said, “all of our taro, bananas, breadfruit trees and cabbages have been damaged. 

“Our farm is what my family depends on for everything, aside from money I make from work.” 

The father from Utufalalafa said he worked at a resort nearby and gets paid weekly. 

“Usually our family depends on the money we collect after selling our produce from the plantation. 

“Now we have to start all over again,” said Ioane. 

The 38-year-old said while the natural disaster was no one’s fault, he hopes the Government will offer some financial assistance while they try and replant their farm. 

The father of six says this has a huge impact on their daily life. 

“We usually collect about $40-$60 daily from goods sold on the side of the streets, now my family will solely depend on my salary.

“I sure hope the Government will consider handing out financial assistance for the farmers who have been highly affected.” 

According to the father of six, another issue his family faces is the lack of stable water supply. 

“We live on a farm which is further inland and fetching water from the neighbours during difficult time, but we don’t have a choice. 

“So my family is seeking some assistance for a water tank. 

“We use barrels because we don’t have a gallon even that is just too much for my children to carry when it’s filled with water.”  

One other issue that Ioane spoke about is the high cost of living. 

“I must say that it’s skyrocketed and while people in town with government jobs and can afford it, we cannot afford it. 

“The prices for the goods are just ridiculously high and I don’t know how we low income earning families can survive,” he said. 

Mr. Ioane also thanked the Samoa Observer for initiating the Village Voice section as a platform for families who need assistance. 

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