The Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Samoa Water Authority, TupuolaAfa Lesa, has raised some serious questions about the threat posed by the Wastewater Treatment Plant (W.W.T.P) located at Sogi.
The former Cabinet Minister is concerned, saying he believes the Plant is just about full and when that happens, it will become an environmental disaster not just for nearby residents but also the government’s plans to the area.
He referred to the Apia Waterfront project saying this will have an enormous impact on such a plan.
“We talk about water a lot but we forget about the waste water,” Tupuola said.
“I don’t know who the smart engineer was who suggested to build the plant in Sogi for waste water. My concern is that if it explodes, it will affect the many plans for the Apia township; especially the Waterfront development project.”
Tupuola made the comments during a session on Enhancing Collaboration for Resilient and Sustainable water Resources Management.
The Forum is part of the National Environment Week being commemorated throughout the country this week.
As the Chairman of S.W.A, Tupuola requested a separate facility for waste water to be built away from the town area. He suggested with plans for the Vaiusu Wharf being put in place, somewhere in Vaiusu might be an alternative.
“Our request to the Prime Minister is for funds to build it.”
Speaking about the drinking water situation in Samoa, Tupuola said there are about 24,000 families on metered water and more than half of that number have not paid their water bills.
“People complain that it’s too expensive,” he said. “But they have to pay their bills.”
Prime Minister, TuilaepaSa’ileleMalielegaoiwas among the participants at the Forum on Tuesday.
He said aspecial Committee worked with the engineer who designed the Waster Water Plant at Sogi.
Like any other big project, Tuilaepa said there are always problems.
With Waste Water, he said one of the problemswas finding the experts, especially specialised water engineers.
“We have this matter that is always brought up about the difficulty in finding engineers to draw sketches,” said Tuilaepa.
“The government has already given its order if we do not have any local engineers we can hire from overseas. We cannot wait for our children who are studying to finish until we can start work on projects that is crucial to the development of the country.
“Cabinet can approve the hiring of overseas engineer you just have to inform us.”
Tuilaepa used an example of the Maliolio river and a proposed bridge at the area in Savai’i.
He explained that cabinet has approved the construction of the bridge 8 months ago yet the engineer had just finished drawing the sketch last week.
“You need to look at the capacity of people and if we need to hire people from overseas then we have to recruit them.”