Five percent of Samoa’s population is without water


Village men helping clear the water ways after a recent cyclone

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, SAMOA – WEDNESDAY 09 AUGUST 2017: Samoa may be leading in many development areas in the Pacific, but 5% of the country’s population it without regular water supply.

“Five percent of villages have not had water for years, and this is the challenge we hope to rectify soon,” said Papali’i Helen Lei Sam, a Samoa Water Authority Engineer.

The 5% she mentioned is from the number of villages under the SWA project, excluding villages that are served by the Samoa Independent Water Scheme project.

She said the scarcity of water to some villages is due to the lack of rivers and water reservoirs around those areas.

Currently, SWA’s young engineers are leading the campaign to ensure that every village and family gets regular treated water.

“There is a lack of water catchment areas and we are trying to increase the capacity of reservoirs to catch water to serve the needs of the whole country,” said Papali’i.

She said SWA is in the process of drilling water catchments around Faleasi’u and Fasito’o- uta, two of the villages that have not had piped water service to their homes for many years.

Papali’i Helen Lei Sam, a Samoa Water Authority Engineer

The Authority is also looking at new skills and methods to address the impact of changes in climate, especially when water supply is interrupted, and that is part of the  Pacific Water and Waste Water Conference currently in progress in Apia.

Papali’i said the focus is to find ways for the Pacific to keep the flow of water supply and a clean environment.

“Climate change poses a lot challenges and it is important to know and understand ways to develop and provide regular clean water supplies in the Pacific,” said Papali’i.

Her vision for a better water service in the Pacific, is for every country’s young engineers to utilise the conference to share and dialogue with the experts, engineers and Pacific leaders to build and enhance skills and methods for development in the water sector.