The Samoa Water Authority Managing Director, Seugamaali’i Jammie Saena wants the community to know that they are serious about responding to their water issues.
As a result she wants the public to contact their office whenever they have water concerns.
“Most of the families that have contacted the Samoa Water Authority for an extension so far are mainly living inland,” she told the Samoa Observer.
In fact she urges the community to take heed of the Authority’s call to bring their issues into the office.
According to Seugamaali’i, S.W.A. is very serious about the concerns of the people in the community.
She said the Authority “[does] not take it lightly whenever we receive any complaints - we work towards what is best for these families to be connected”.
She said that 85 per cent of Samoa's population is under the government water scheme. This means their water system is provided under the S.W.A.
“The other 15 per cent is either under the independent schemes or their own scheme.” she said.
In that case, she confirmed water systems that run under independent or family initiatives don’t come under their watch.
“If independent, then that belongs to the Ali’i and Faipule of districts.”
But she did not hesitate to speak out about the importance of families under the government scheme to pay their water bills.
She said it is this money from the payment of bills that ‘helps [with our] operations’.
She explained that setting up water systems to ensure that families are connected to water supply from S.W.A’s system isn’t a cheap task.
“It is a very expensive project that utilizes huge amounts of money and often S.W.A. is required to look into other funding possibilities to assist in the upkeep of the operation altogether including the Authority and its staff.
“That’s why we don’t have enough to buy new equipment to extend our services but we have to ask other people for (funds).
But despite this, she wants to assure the community that S.W.A. is prioritising their needs for proper and safe connection to water supply.
According to the S.W.A Annual Report 2015/2016, the Authority had continued its coverage to areas without access to piped water supply as well as improved infrastructure through many of its capital investments.
Approximately 83% of the population was estimated to be receiving SWA water supply at the end of this fiscal year, an increase from 81% in June 2015.
This expansion is mainly attributed to increased new connections distributed throughout Upolu and Savaii . This is continuously updated on the customer database.
An improved water supply scheme at Falelauniu has also increased coverage to over 150 residents for this area.
Furthermore, close to 400 connections have been identified and metered for Vailoa, Vaitoomuli and Faala Palauli further reflecting improved services.
Each year the Authority encounters multiple issues and challenges which are also common in all water utilities in the Pacific region.
Some of these issues and challenges are within the Authority’s control but most are caused externally from natural factors and social impacts.