Teen street vendor unaware of rules

A 14-year-old street vendor selling taro chips on Saturday at the Savalalo market said he wasn’t aware of a state of emergency (S.O.E.) order prohibiting the sale of goods in public.

He spoke with the Samoa Observer about the amendment of the S.O.E. orders recently.

"I didn't know that I was not supposed to sell my chips here at the market, this is the first day that I started selling these,” he said. 

“I just wanted to earn money for my family.”

The vendor around the bus stations at Savalalo market also sold some of his chips to passengers waiting for buses inside the food stall market area.

"I sold most of my chips at the bus station and at the home and away, this is going to be my last day to sell these since now I know that we are still not allowed to sell them," he said.

The young teenager said he was not aware of the orders because he doesn't watch television, or have access to traditional and social media. 

"I do not have a radio or a television at home, I don't have a phone to access any social media,” he said. 

“My family is not financially stable, I only hear or see the news when I am around people or when I go to sell my chips to a place where a television is at. Most of these places are the restaurants”.

The teenager is in school and is staying home because schools are temporarily closed due to the S.O.E. orders.

The S.O.E. orders was amended last Friday and states there shall be no selling of goods beside roads, streets, culverts or footpaths in Apia, Vaitele and Salelologa. Children selling goods in public is also strictly prohibited.

The boy had only two packets of chips left when questioned by the Samoa Observer. 

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