Market vendors lament bad weather

The unpredictable weather is adding to the challenges that vendors at the Savalalo market are currently facing.

The lack of proper shelter at some parts of the market has resulted in some goods being sold by vendors getting damaged by the rain.

The bad weather is also turning away customers which is impacting on the market vendors’ profits, such as 39-year-old vendor Folola Tautai of Vaivase. 

He said the bad weather is impacting his business and he is not getting any returns for the $6 daily rental fee he pays to the market.

"My stall is located at the outer areas of the market, which as you can see is the part where our roof is a tent. We may have shelter overhead but that does not stop the rain and strong winds from affecting our business," he said. "We pay a daily rent of $6 but the money being spent on rent would be wasted if we don't sell anything for the day or when we are forced to close up due to the weather. It is not fair that my stall is in the outer area while most people get the areas under an actual roof.”

Mr Tautai said the other vendors are less affected by the weather because the rain doesn't reach their stalls. 

“The Government is now removing the tents on the opposite side of my stall and those who were stationed under these tents have been squeezed into our space. There are two people assigned to each block so there is not much space and confusion arises when our goods get mixed up. This is an issue that should be looked into."

A female market vendor, who did not want to be identified when interviewed by Samoa Observer, expressed similar sentiments and lamented the “waste” of her $6 daily rental fee charged by the market.

"The weather has a huge impact on our business because we have no choice but to close up and go back home which is a waste of our $6 daily rent. Most of my neighbors here at the stall area haven't been here in a while, because of the cyclone warning we have been hearing. How can we earn money if this weather continues?" she said.

The bad weather challenges currently faced by the market vendors is set to continue with the Samoa Meteorology Service warning of continued heavy rain and strong winds, as another low pressure system develops and moves south of the Samoa islands. 

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