Elder calls on govt. to lower cost of living

Little is much. This is especially true for Tamausu Aukusitino Lemuelu, 72, of Matatufu.

Speaking to the Village Voice, he said his family doesn’t have a lot and is begging the government to do something about the cost of living.

 “I think the government should do something about the cost of living because it’s affecting all of us in a very bad way,” he said.

“At this stage, we are struggling to cope with life because everything keeps on going up. Money has become everything and we don’t have money.

“Without remittances, I tell you, we would be in so much trouble.”

Asked about some of their daily challenges, Tamausu said it’s money and the inconsistent supply of water.

“The only problem we’ve been dealing with for years is water,” he said.

“Our village has water but the issue is it doesn’t run all the time. When it is off, it takes up to one or two days to come back on. That is the case for families who have water in our village.” 

Tamausu said their water has been disconnected because they couldn’t afford the bill. He said they are looking at $1,500 to get the water back on.

“Let me tell you, I blame the rising cost of living,” he said.

“With things becoming more expensive, we suffer trying to figure out a way to handle it and this makes it impossible for us to pay our water bill.

“It’s not just some small amount of money.” 

Tamausu said his children living overseas are sending the money to help.

In the meantime, their saving grace is the rain.

 “The rain is our life saver,” he said. 

“We have a broken freezer that we are using at the moment to collect water when it rains. We even use gallons and large bottles.

“When it doesn’t rain, we fetch water from families in our village but then we have to pay money in order to get it.”

The 72-year-old is married with six children. Four of them are overseas.

The Village Voice caught up with him while he was clearing the grass in front of his house.

According to Tamausu, life is great.

“Everything is going smoothly with our village governance, no issues or problems to revolve. 

“Our village council is very good. They are doing a great job keeping this in order.”

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