The Vaimoso Village Council has zero tolerance for any drug use in the village.
And to show that it is serious about helping the Police battle drug use, the Village Council has put in place policies where families caught with any drug connection will be punished.
The Village Council will also ensure the family is reported to the Police so they can be dealt with.
This was confirmed by Committee Chairman of Policies for Vaimoso’s Village Council, Aulavemai Asiata Tafito during an interview with the Samoa Observer.
“This initiative started as a result of our first Village Council meeting held in early January, 2018,” he said. “The efforts put in place are to keep Vaimoso residents safe and peaceful."
“Our new policies are not limited to just penalizing the family, but it is mandatory that we take the matter to the appropriate authorities such as the Police.”
A former Member of Parliament, Aulavemai said he accepts that the decision is extreme.
“This was somewhat hard to accept, but when considering what is at stake, the safety of the families of Vaimoso is paramount to us as chiefs in charge of overseeing the village,” said Aulavemai.
“Classic example, we can oust anyone who does not heed our policies, however they will become a problem of another village and that is why we opted to hand over anyone within the Village to the Police and for the law to take its course,” he said.
He told the Samoa Observer last week, the Village Council encountered a case where one of the young men in the village was caught with marijuana.
“I will not divulge the quantity, but the matter was addressed during our meeting last month and we informed this young man’s family of the situation at hand."
“Last week, we held another meeting where the father of the young man in question attended. The father was instructed to find his son and bring him before the village."
“We informed the father, that by 1 p.m. last Saturday, if his son does not appear before the Village, then the entire family will be ousted."
“It appears the family attempted to hide the young man,” claims Aulavemai.
“Yesterday, the Village Council accompanied the young man to the Police Office where he was questioned.
“We left the young man with the Police, given our duty as Chiefs of the Village is to help the Police enforce the laws."
“The law is the law; however in order for it to be fully implemented, the Police needs assistance from the Village Council and it’s that notion that Vaimoso has opted to put in place these penalties."
“These are efforts by our village to eliminate the drug problem in Samoa, let alone Vaimoso,” said Aulavemai.
Aulavemai hopes their efforts will be considered by other villages to assure that Samoa is safe from harm.
“We will not tell any Village Council what to do, but we merely advise to consider why we have been tasked to oversee our villages and that is to put policies in place to assure the safety of the people."
“And of course that means making hard decisions, but this will benefit all, not just a few.”
According to the High Chief, Samoa’s Chiefly System is one of a kind and it’s there to protect the villagers.
“Our chiefly system is our traditional indigenous form of governance, if anything can govern our villages, set up policies and live by them."
“And at this time and age, we have the laws in place and these two should go hand in hand - the Village Councils working together with the Police - this is the purpose of our existence."
“We should not live in fear of anything or any problems,” said Aulavemai.