Vendors demand urgent Govt. action

TM
By Talaia Mika, 17 February 2019

Strong winds, torrential rain and the appalling conditions they bring are wreaking havoc at the Savalalo market, affecting art and craft vendors.

Last week during a tropical depression, part of the market’s roof was blown off, forcing vendors to gather their art pieces and seek refuge in other parts of the market.

Some of the vendors told the Samoa Observer that it has been a week since the roof was blown off, and the Government – whom they pay rent to for a spot – is yet to respond and fix the roof.

Now they are urging immediate action from the Government to help them.

A vendor, Steve Leuatogi, told the Samoa Observer that their products remain vulnerable to the weather without the roof.

Safety and health is also another consideration.  

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“We don’t know if it’s only those right under the damaged area of the shelter that are being dismissed from having to pay their rents. But we’re also victims here as the rain kept coming over our crafts and it’s not good,” he said.

The blown-off roof is located at the right from the bus terminal view, and its damage is now affecting the owners of five stalls selling Samoan craftwork. 

Mr. Leuatogi said he asked the Government or the Samoa Land Corporation to respond to their plea. 

“This is the only source of income for my own family and most of my crafts, they get spoiled once wet by rain or dried out by the sun so I have no choice but to leave them in the rubbish so it’s a huge expense and loss for us,” he said.

Another affected vendor, Toa Peter, told this newspaper that their sales have dropped after the damaging of the roof. 

“Whenever it rains, we have to rush our things in a safer place inside the other stalls, and we can’t stop selling these to wait for the roof to get fixed because we rely on this income,” he said.

The same concerns have been brought by other members of the market who also have been victims of the story season.

Attempts have been made to obtain a comment from the Samoa Land Corporation.

TM
By Talaia Mika, 17 February 2019

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