Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi sent out a strong message yesterday to participants of the National Water Leaders Forum, telling them not to attend the forum to just listen and eat.
The forum is part of the National Environment week celebration held at the Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi convention center.
After his official remarks in English and Samoan, Tuilaepa stressed the critical situation that water was in and the importance of the participants’ role in safeguarding it.
“We don’t come to meetings to sit here, listen and eat for free on food supplied by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment,” said Tuilaepa who is also the Acting Minister of M.N.R.E.
“The situation with our water now is very critical especially with this foolish idea from farmers to burn trees that happens mainly in Savai’i.This affects the environment.”
Tuilaepa said everyone in Samoa are responsible for safeguarding our natural resources.
“The government depends on the development of villages led by pulenuu and that is why their role is very crucial."
“Now that the Minister of Women is listening, if any pulenu’u goes against the work of the government, terminate their service…the government owns the position (of pulenuu).”
Especially in water projects, Tuilaepa said the government is not using its power under legislations particularly in water management.
He explained there are very few pulenuu that have voiced unfounded claims causing problems and wasting time on programmes like the National Water Leaders Forum.
“One of the main focuses on this programme is village base projects on developments. But it all depends on the pulenuu being active unlike others who just accept big pays from government.”