Village appeals for COVID-19 awareness

By Talaia Mika 23 March 2020, 6:00PM

A village on the southeastern coast of Upolu has appealed to the Government to run awareness programmes there to enable them to know how they can protect themselves from the coronavirus.

The remoteness of Amaile village, which is over an hour’s drive from Apia, makes it difficult for the residents to receive daily broadcasts of Samoa’s various radio stations.

Village mayor, Tupuivao Posigi Tauiliili, told Samoa Observer that the villagers have received scant information on the coronavirus (COVID-19) and its symptoms.

“I mean if this dangerous virus hits our lands we’ll surely be one of the first people to have a high chance of being affected since we don’t know what to do,” he said. 

“We’d just like some doctors or nurses or whoever to let us know what to do maybe by coming here and educate the people of Amaile, would be much appreciated.”

He added that the lack of information on how symptoms of the virus can be identified will be a major challenge for the village. 

“We don’t even know the symptoms of this virus which I think is very important to understand.”

According to the mayor, Amaile has over 60 families in the main street and about 30 families in its other sub-villages.

Due to the Government’s state of emergency (S.O.E.) orders that bans the gathering of over five people, Tupuivao said neighbouring villages have been banned from using Amaile’s underground water supply. 

The village was one of the first ones to be hooked up to the Government’s Digital TV platform towards the end of last year. However, the mayor said a lot of the residents found the cost of the decoder too exorbitant.

Amaile resident and mother of three, Liitia Faasologa, told Samoa Observer that she continues to worry about the safety of her children. 

“If the virus is as dangerous as we think it is then we need to know what to do, especially the preventative measures to start doing right now,” she said. “I cannot imagine losing one of the children to this co called virus. I have already experienced losing nieces and nephews to the measles crisis last year so I cannot bear losing a few more of my flesh and blood.”

Acknowledging the Government’s decision to opt for a total border shutdown, Ms Faasologa said most families in Amaile do not have radios and the reception is poor, but their internet accessibility enables them to keep abreast of COVID-19 developments. 

For mother of two, Malia Luamanu, it is the lack of information about the virus that puts her children at risk. 

“Well what we’re concerned mostly about is that we cannot stop the children from going place to place and we’re unaware of what exactly to do,” she added.

By Talaia Mika 23 March 2020, 6:00PM

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