National lockdown hits family vendors

A family who mainly survives of vending products shared about the losses they'll be facing for 14 days due to the coronavirus ban on street vending. 

The Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi, announced the measures of the state of emergency will be in effect for 14 days. The measures included a ban on public vending.

Speaking to the Samoa Observer, 39-year-old Salome Paulo Suliveta, said she was not sure if her family have prepared financially.

"Our only breadwinner now is the father of our family who is a taxi driver and hopefully that can cater for all of us," she said.

The mother of ten said selling her hand-made flowers and her elder son selling products around Apia was their main income.

She earns about $200 tala while her son earns over $100 tala weekly.

They, however, support the decision made by the Government to shutdown vending as well as they also believe safety should be anyone's number one priority.

Mrs. Paulo two years ago developed the viable flower selling business which she is proud of.

She is a mother-of-10 and, before the lockdown, would take her children out to vend if business was slow. 

Her second eldest son, Michael Suliveta, is 13 years old and her right hand man in the plastic flower vending business. But only after school.

The family lives just beside a dusty road and three small open houses with over 30 children living under them.

This is an additional worry for the family during the time of the pandemic, she said. 

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