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Health questions surface over Samoa market move

The Government’s offer for stall owners at the Fugalei Market, announced earlier this week, is cold comfort for many of them.

The announcement made by the Minister of Finance, Faumuina Tiatia Liuga, about alternative places for stall owners to relocate to, starting on Monday, was greeted by mixed emotions on the floor at Fugalei Market. Concerns about heal th and sanitation are among the biggest worries for many stall owners. Loua Feagai, of Leauva’a, sells lua’u, fa’i and ulu. He is not keen on moving to Tole’afoa Fa’afisi’s premises because he says it is unhealthy. “The place is dusty,” he points out.

“It is not cemented, it looks unhealthy and yet we are talking about food here. This is the health of the nation we are talking about. It’s a very serious issue.” Loua says the condition of the new place is also bad for business. “No one will want to buy what I am selling because of the unhealthy conditions of these places. I would rather go to the Vaitele Market where there is proper roof and a proper floor to sell my food.”

The second option at Pa’u Sefo Pa’u’s land in Vaitele is not any better. “Who wants to eat anything being sold around on a dusty place? It’s unhealthy.” Anita, of Taufusi, who runs a handicraft business with her cousin, says Pa’u’s estate is too far. “They are telling us to relocate to Sefo Pa’u and yet did they consider the distance?

Not all of us here live near there. It will be extra cost for us travelling to Vaitele and back to town.” An i t a wo n d e r s wh y t h e Government refuses to allow the reserve at Sogi to be used. “The reserve at Sogi is ideal. “There is enough space for everyone and it will be easier for our customers to find everything at one place.”