Cabinet Ministers and Government officials inspect landslides and road damages to the Fagaloa Bay road left by Cyclone Gita
Source: PRESS SECRETARIAT
APIA, SAMOA – THURSDAY 15 FEBRUARY 2018: Uafato and neighboring villages in the remote Fagaloa Bay will have a new road and a seawall.
Before Cyclone Gita hit last weekend, Cabinet had approved the Tender’s Board recommendation to award the $1.3 million talā contract to build the new rad and seawall to King’s Construction.
The funding is provided by the United Nations Adaptation Fund and it is the start of a government initiative to combat climate change which is affecting Fagaloa’s coastline and causing mountain slides during heavy spells.
Today, Cabinet made onsite inspection to determine the extent of the damages left behind by Cyclone Gita. The visit included the Minister of Works, Transport and Infrastructure, Papaliitele Unasa Niko Lee Hang and the Minister of Communications & Information Technology Afamasaga Rico Tupai visited Fagaloa.
Other Cabinet Ministers including the Prime Minister were divided into four teams as part of the Upolu wide onsite inspections.
The main road to Fagaloa is at the foot of the mountain range and it is very dangerous during heavy rains as it is susceptible to massive landslides. In addition there is erosion of the coastline from rising sea levels as a result of climate change and is threatening the villages in the bay area. “But funding was the main obstacle,” says Papaliitele.
Familiar sights of landslides at the Fagaloa Road as inspected today by the Minister of Works, Transport and Infrastructure – Papaliitele Unasa Niko Lee Hang and the Minister of Communications & Information Technology – Afamasaga Rico Tupai and government officials.
Today’s visit also reaffirms the success of the MWTI’s reforms to outsource maintenance road contracts to the business sector.
Despite the sporadic heavy rains in the bay area after the Cyclone, King’s Construction have managed to clear the road removing fallen trees and massive landslides to reopening access to the villages in the bay.
“But there is still a lot to do,” said Papaliitele. “With the unpredictable weather conditions, landslides can happen anytime and it’s a threat to the commuters.”
As of today Fagaloa has yet to have electricity since the black out last Friday night. But officials from the Electric Power Corporation were on hand providing reassurances to the villages that power should be back on line as late as Sunday.
Water supply remains uninterrupted as the village has their own independent water supply.
“Like the Samoa Water Authority, the Electric Power Corporation is restoring its services by outsourcing contracts to the business community to assist with the recovery work,” said the MWIT Minister in charge for both EPC and SWA.
“I humbly ask for the people’s patience and we are doing everything possible to have your water and electricity restored as soon as possible,” he adds.
SWA and EPC have set up Call Centers for member of the public to call for assistance.
In the meantime, total costs for the Cyclone Gita’s damages and recovery work will be determined following the onsite visits.
The Cabinet Cyclone Gita onsite inspection moves to Savaii tomorrow.