PHOTO: Some of Samoa’s urban roads built to improve resilience to climate and facilitate rapid response to natural disasters
Source: World Bank
WEDNESDAY 19 SEPTEMBER 2018: The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved a US$35.75 million (T$95.09m) grant to improve the climate resilience of Samoa’s road network and facilitate a rapid response in the event of a natural disaster.
Thousands of residents on Samoa’s two main islands, Upolu and Savai’i, will benefit directly from this investment.
“Safe, reliable and resilient roads are critical to our nation’s economic development, connecting people, facilitating the rapid movement of goods, and enabling people to access vital services,” said Minister of Finance, Sili Epa Tuioti in a statement by the World Bank.
“The Government of Samoa has been working with the World Bank on improving our road network through multiple projects for more than a decade, and we are pleased to see this partnership continue.”
The Samoa Climate Resilient Transport Project is the first in a series under the Pacific Climate Resilient Transport Program that focuses on building resilience in infrastructure and institutions through four components:
- Technical assistance to improve the way that climate change is factored into road development, including through better asset management and planning systems;
- Infrastructure investments to improve the climate resilience of the West Coast Road between Malua and Faleolo, and slope protection and stabilisation and drainage on the East Coast Road to reduce landslip and rock fall hazards. Further works will include the replacement of the Afega Bridge and the Lano Ford Crossing, and a study into potential future upgrades of Alafa’alava Road;
- Institutional and regulatory reforms for road sector asset management and maintenance, including measures to strengthen local capacity and to increase the sustainability of climate resilient road investments; and
- A provision for the Government of Samoa to redirect uncommitted project funds to rapidly fund urgent post-disaster rehabilitation or reconstruction needs in the event of a major natural disaster.
“Samoa’s transport network is highly vulnerable to various factors including sea level-rise, storm surges, flooding and landslides, largely due to its proximity to the coastline,” said Michel Kerf, Country Director for Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands in the statement.
“This project will build on the works and lessons learned under the World Bank-funded Enhanced Road Access Project, which has successfully rehabilitated Vaitele Street and rebuilt Leone Bridge to climate resilient standards.”
The Samoa Climate Resilient Transport Project is funded through a US$35.75 million grant from the International Development Association, the World Bank’s fund for the world’s most in-need countries.