Caretaker Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, yesterday signed a grant of $16.2 million with the European Union (E.U).
The money is part of its "Water & Sanitation Sector Budget Support Programme and continuing Millennium Development Goals Initiative."
The E.U. programme aims to strengthen the water and sanitation sector and contribute to addressing climate change issues in Samoa. Tuilaepa is also the National Authorising Officer.
The European Union was represented by the Head of the E.U. Office in Samoa, John Stanley.
This disbursement supports the implementation of the Samoan "Water for Life Sector Plan" and relates specifically to the country's general performance in maintaining macroeconomic stability, strengthening its Public Finance Management systems as well as the implementation of the Water and Sanitation Sector Plan.
“I thank the E.U. for the continuing support for the Water and Sanitation sector in the last twelve years as much progress has been achieved in ensuring access to safe and quality water supply to the people of Samoa,” Tuilaepa said.
Positive developments in the sector have included progress in prioritised watershed areas, enhanced revenue collection efficiency, improvement in water quality, reduction in non-revenue water, increased availability of modern septic tanks in Apia and the reduction of incidence of flooding in its central business district.
Commenting on the disbursement of the grant, the European Union Ambassador to the Pacific, Andrew Jacobs, said: "The Water & Sanitation Sector has made and is making significant progress in the implementation of the Water for Life Sector Plan.
“The European Union, in close collaboration with the Government of Samoa, intends to continue its support to this important sector for the foreseeable future."
The water and sanitation sector has been identified as a national priority under the current Strategy for Development of Samoa (2012-2016), highlighting the impacts of climate change on the water sector and the need to focus on adaptation strategies.
The E.U. project "Water & Sanitation Sector Budget Support Programme" aims to support the Samoan Government's “Water for Life Sector Plan 2012 – 2016" with the purpose of providing reliable, clean and affordable water and basic sanitation for all the people of Samoa to sustain public health improvements and alleviate hardship particularly of vulnerable groups.