Poor roads anger public

By Vatapuia Maiava ,

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HARD AT WORK: Some road workers working hard to fill the potholes left by the heavy rain at Vaitele.

HARD AT WORK: Some road workers working hard to fill the potholes left by the heavy rain at Vaitele. (Photo: Misiona Simo)

But Minister of Works assures that the government is doing its best

Just as you dodge one pothole it shouldn’t be a surprise that there is another one just waiting for your tyres. It doesn’t matter whether you’re part of Samoa’s lower, middle or upper class. 

There is no escaping the potholes. It’s no longer a game of dodging potholes but rather, it’s a game of aiming for the smaller one because there are too many of them.

Ioane Fatu, from the village of Utuali’i, said the road standards are a real worry. 

 “It’s not hard to notice that there is a big increase in vehicles entering our country but what’s the point when the roads are full of holes?” he said.

“When it starts to rain heavily then the state of the roads get worse and this worries me more and more. It’s definitely not good especially considering the prices of the cars nowadays.”

Ioane says something really needs to be done about it.

 “There are many cars driving to and from the wharf, airport and town so the roads need to be done up properly for the sake of everyone.

“For me personally, this issue should be one of the priorities because it costs the people so much money to fix up their cars which were ruined by the roads.”

Ioane is not alone. His views are shared by hundreds of motorists who have to put up with the sub-standard roads every day.

One of them who spoke to the Weekend Observer yesterday blamed the idea of using chip seal to fix the problem.

The man who wants to be identified as Levua said this was an utter waste of time and money.

“I see these road contractors just turning up and using chip seal,” he said. “You don’t do that. It’s wasting money on paying contractors, the existing tar and all the energy. Why? Because all that effort is easily washed away again.”

Levua said his concern is that it seems some road contractors know this cycle of making money.

“They seem to know what the problem is and yet they just keep repeating the same vicious cycle,” he said. “It’s crazy because you see the same issue every day from the east to the west of Samoa. You see these guys turning up with chip seal when you know it will only get washed away again.” 

Asked for a comment, Minister of Works, Transport and Infrastructure, Papali’i Niko Lee Hang, assures that the government is doing all they can to fix this issue. With the ecent completion of the smooth Vaitele road, Papali’i wishes they can extend it all the way to the airport and all over Samoa. 

“I wish we had the money to do that,” he told the Samoa Observer. “That’s all we can afford now. We can only improve it but that’s how far we can go.”

Asked if the government has any big plans to fix the standard of the roads, Papali’i said they do.

“Oh yes. That’s a must. L.T.A. is now busy trying to get all the contractors because we already engaged contractors to fix all the potholes on all the popular roads.

“The rural areas is fine because there are a few contractors who maintain the public roads except for access roads (farm roads) which is not the priority.”

Papali’i asks only for patience as it will all be done in due time.

“It will be done in due cause. When we have the time and the funds.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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