By Uaea Laki Apelu
With all the 2016 elections huff and puff from the 170 plus aspiring M.Ps and the promises of better things to come, and as with every other election of the last five decades, there appears (to me) an apparent huge gap of all the promised positive outcomes of Development/progress and the actual reality of outcomes thus far!
Consider the Apia CBD Progress/Development of the last 50 years for instance.
I can vividly recall the views, the colours, even the smell of a lot of evenings in 1950`s and 60s whilst walking along Beach Road from the old Maketi and the Tivoli towards Mulivai!
The waves gently breaking almost at your feet, beauteous blue and green clear lagoon on your right and the lush green row of pulu trees on your left. No seawall and no footpaths either.
What unbelievable sights.
And of such natural beauty. Environment to die and live for and enjoy.
Oh there were also those unsightly steel shipwrecks still in the harbour, (all man made of course), injecting ugliest and utter disgusting blots to what was then the most beautiful majestic ocean views on the planet, of our part of the Pacific Ocean and Apia Harbour!
Fast forward to 2016 and reflecting on the Flea Market tragedy!
The disaster itself actually brought a moment and a “breath of fresh air” literally. No pun intended.
Walk along Beach Rd frontage of the Flea Market since the fire and there is now fresh air and even an ocean view. What a blessing. Even if only temporary. I’m even hoping it stays like this forever.
And whoever suggested that we plonk a 15 stories high concrete and steel monster on the Flea Market fire scarred foundation certainly needs a second brain scan and/or a second opinion.
The Flea Market fire itself brought a cautious and explicit reminder to the political decision makers and planners of the Apia CBD. If the CBD planners are silly enough to fathom a 15 story monster.
And if that was the expected ugly monster design that was published in the paper some weeks ago, it looked out of place, ugly on paper and will look disgustingly worse when built. I used to personally frequent the burnt Flea Market for shopping and for many years enjoyed the food there at the food stalls. And I cannot for the life of me remember ever, ever, ever seeing a small fire extinguisher anywhere in or near any of the food stalls there, since it opened.
Or fire sprinklers, or rolled up fire hoses or any of those, basic first line fire defenses equipment and now that we actually had a real fire. I would personally pose a small personal query to the Apia CBD planners.
“Are our on-island abilities and capabilities able to cope with our own manmade disasters like that fire on the 6th or 4th floor of either T.A.T.T.E or the A.C.C building, and other multi-storey building in the Apia CBD?
Again for our Apia CBD planners and with the 15 stories high monster though, imagine a fire on the 13th floor, sorry third floor, or 7th or from ground to top floor of this concrete monster?
And let’s never forget a simple fact. They haven’t invented a fire proof multi story building yet. It reminds me of joke about “The Christian Lion”.
Two guys are walking through a Game Park and they came across a lion that has not eaten for days. The lion starts chasing the two men. They run as fast as they can and one guy starts getting tired and decided to say a prayer. “Please turn this lion into a Christian, Lord.”
He looks to see if the lion is chasing, and to his relief, he sees the lion on its knees. Happy to see his prayers answered, he turns around and heads towards the lion.
As he comes closer to closer the lion, he hears it saying a prayer. “Thank you Lord for the food I am about to receive!!”