Uafato and neighbouring villages in Fagaloa Bay can look forward to a brand new road and a seawall.
Prior to Cyclone Gita last week, Cabinet had approved the Tender’s Board recommendation to award the $1.3 million contract to King Construction.
The funding is provided by the United Nations Adaptation Fund and it’s the start of a government initiative to combat climate change which is affecting Fagaloa’s coastline and causing mountain slides during heavy spells.
As part of a Cabinet onsite inspection visit to determine the extent of the damages left behind by Cyclone Gita, Minister of Works, Transport and Infrastructure, Papaliitele Niko Lee Hang and Minister of Communication, Information and Technology Afamasaga Rico Tupai visited Fagaloa.
Cabinet Ministers including the Prime Minister were divided into four teams as part of the Upolu wide onsite inspections.
“It has always been government’s intention to rehabilitate the mountainous roads to Fagaloa. It’s very dangerous during heavy rains causing massive landslides. In addition the erosion of the coastline from rising sea levels as a result of climate change is noticeably threatening the villagers in the bay area,” says Papaliitele.
“But funding was the main obstacle.
“Thankfully, the UN’s Adaptation Fund is making this long overdue project a reality.”
The visit also reaffirms the success of the M.W.T.I.’s reform to outsource maintenance road contracts to business sector.
Despite the sporadic heavy rains in the bay area after the Cyclone, King Construction have managed to clear the road removing falling trees and clearing massive landslides reopening access to the villages in the bay.
“But there is still a lot to do,” said Papali’itele. “With the unpredictable weather conditions, landslides can happen anytime and it’s a ticking time bomb and a threat to the commuters.”
As of today Fagaloa has yet to have electricity since the black out Friday night.
But officials from the Electric Power Corporation were on hand providing reassurances to the villages that power should be back on line as late as Sunday with Saturday targeted as the initial deadline for electricity to be restored.
Water supply remains uninterrupted as the village has their own independent water supply project.
“Like the Samoa Water Authority, the Electric Power Corporation is resorting to all its resources including outsourcing contracts to the business community to assist with the recovery work,” said the M.W.T.I. Minister in charge for both E.P.C. and S.W.A.
“I humbly ask for the people’s patience and we are doing everything possible to have your water and electricity restored as soon as possible,” he adds.
Should you need assistance both the S.W.A. and E.P.C. have set up Call Centers.
In the meantime, total costs for the Cyclone Gita’s damages and recovery work will be determined following the onsite visits.