“Realistically speaking, there is poverty in Samoa”

By Vatapuia Maiava 07 January 2017, 12:00AM

Many are quick to say life in Samoa is great and that we can make a pretty decent living with our farms.

That might be the case for some but the majority of people, it’s a tough life. One full of hardships, struggles and to an extent poverty.

 That’s how Daiz Daiz, from the village of Aleisa, sees things. He is adamant that there is poverty in Samoa. Surviving from the fruits of the plantation may get you by but that’s just about it.

Daiz said another thing to consider is the money people make from employment compared to the cost of living we currently face. Compared to New Zealand and other developed nations, Samoa has a true imbalance.

“You simply cannot say that there is no poverty in Samoa because there is,” Daiz told the Village Voice.

“There are so many people who really struggle and live under the poverty line and it’s not hard to notice. I mean just do the math and you will see.

“People are paid very little money for their hard work and if you compare that to the high cost of living; that makes no sense at all.

“I mean, our minimum wage is so small yet if you go to the bigger shops, everything is very expensive. We can’t afford to live off the money we get paid.

“No matter what people say, realistically speaking, there is poverty in Samoa.”

He says that people in Samoa need to be more realistic and honest about life and how much they actually struggle on a daily basis.

“The way things are right now in this country, there is a true imbalance,” Daiz said.

“So many people can agree with me that the high cost of living is very high and it affects so many people. I mean, we can go through $100 in just one day and that is what many make throughout the week.

“I hear and see a lot of people saying that they get so much from what they make from their plantation but I don’t believe that’s true.

“Reality is that people can’t make enough just from their plantations because we can only make money during harvest and that leaves months without any sales.”

He continued on to say that yes, laziness will get you nowhere, but the kind of reality we live in is far from easy.

“The only thing we have is food from the land that the family can use but it’s not easy living that way,” he said.

“It’s easy to say this and that but it doesn’t cancel out the fact that life is actually not easy. Yes there are many people who say that hard work and not being lazy is how we can make a good living and I bet that many of them don’t actually have a plantation.

“I mean, even with seasonal fruits like mangoes, you don’t make a lot of money from that and it’s only once a year. You can survive on that.

“And when it comes to plantations, there is a waiting period for harvest so you can’t say that it’s easy. You can’t really save up for the future with what you make in a plantation.”

By Vatapuia Maiava 07 January 2017, 12:00AM
Samoa Observer

Upgrade to Premium

Subscribe to
Samoa Observer Online

Enjoy unlimited access to all our articles on any device + free trial to e-Edition. You can cancel anytime.