Footpath sellers cleared in Apia
The footpaths near the Fugalei market are now cleared with the Land Transport Authority evicting the last of the farmers and vendors yesterday.
The decision follows a deadline issued by the Government for all vendors to vacate the footpaths by the weekend, citing safety reasons.
The issue of famers setting up shop on the side of the road was brought up by the Samoa Observer last week.
Members of the public were concerned with sellers choosing the rent-free footpaths over the private markets which would cost them $10 plus a day to use.
However, the footpaths fall under the jurisdiction of the LTA, from which these farmers should have sought permission if they wanted to sell their wares there.
Lacking such permission has meant that for the past week, LTA officers have been clearing the footpaths.
One farmer, Suitupe Misa, from Nu’u operates a stall within the Coin Save car park, the only seller that has been allowed to do so.
Suitupe said the reason he’s not taking his stall down is because he doesn’t understand why other farmers are still selling crops on the footpath and those are the farmers that don’t come every day.
He said he agrees with the Government’s decision to free up the footpaths as it is in the best interest of shoppers’ safety.
However, he raised the issue of farmers who set up shop on the footpath without a structure.
He said these were farmers who did not come to the market every day.
“If our stall is removed, then those farmers who do not have stalls should be removed too,” he said.