Vaitogi Village imposes strict regulations on residents and visitors
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The Vaitogi Village Council on May 27 issued village rules and regulations to help govern “our village and our community” as well as imposing village fines. Vaitogi also announced the start of its Sa, or curfew.
It explains that tickets shall be issued by the Vaitogi Police Force Captains or designated officials.
“These rules and regulations are intended to provide safety and security and to upkeep the welfare of our people,” according to the document addressed to all landowners, homeowners and renters in Vaitogi. Two copies of the document were shared with Samoa News over the weekend and it shows that the Sa began Sunday, June 7, 2020.
The daily curfew begins at 6p.m with the bell, and during the Sa no one is allowed outdoors except for those who will be policing the Sa.
At 9pm the bell will ring signifying the village evening curfew for all students. At 10pm, the bell will ring signifying the village curfew for EVERYONE. No one can be outdoors except for those who are working and during emergencies.
As for the fine and citation, for violating the curfew, the first offense, the violator and/or family will be issued a warning. The second offense, the fine is $25 and third offense is $50 and it will be reported to the Village Council.
The rules also prohibit loud music from stereos at home and by all vehicles including buses. For the first offense, they will be asked to lower the music if not followed, they will be fined $50, then $100 and the violation will be reported to the Village Council.
It further states that there will be “no shouting” - or fa’aumu war shout - and swearing at any time. First offense is $50 while the second one is $100 and a report to the Village Council.
Consumption of alcohol is prohibited in the village — on the streets, in the village malae, on the beach, in abandoned houses/building structures. It’s only acceptable in your own home or property. There are also fines imposed.
“No one can use, buy and sell illegal drugs i.e, growing marijuana,” the notice states. First violation will be a fine of $50, second is $100 and will be reported to the Village Council and to local authorities.
The notice also states that all property within the village should be kept clean with lawns groomed and cut. Fines are also imposed for violators.
“No woman can wear shorts with leg length above the knees around the village except when participating in sports,” according to another village rule in the notice. For a first offense, a woman will be asked to wear a lavalava, second offense will be a fine of $50, third will be fined $100 and reported to the Village Council.
“No males allowed to wear long hair and beard,” according to another village rule, which also states that the person will be asked to cut his hair, for the first offense. Second offense is $50 fine and third will be $100 and reported to the Village Council.
Other rules in the notice bans swimming on Sunday; no one is allowed on the Laumei site on Sunday and after 6p.m daily; and no dumping garbage allowed in the village except where garbage bins are located.
Fines are also imposed for swimming on Sunday and dumping garbage at sites without bins.
During the government’s COVID-19 task force meeting on June 28th, the governor notes that villages, such as Vaitogi, have started their curfew and want to join the ASG enforcement program, which is designated not only for the coronavirus but also illegal drugs.
Samoa News should point out that there have been criminal cases that have been a result of village rules being broken, which have gone to court and been dismissed due to the rules being unconstitutional.