State of basic utilities very poor

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I must say I am very disappointed with the level of basic utility services in Samoa. 

Having lived or worked in a number of Pacific Island countries over the last few years including Fiji, Tonga and New Caledonia, I must admit Samoa is head and shoulders above most of our neighbors when it comes to beauty, development, way of life, cleanliness and many other attributes. 

However one issue that baffles the mind is how bad basic utility services are when there have been so many developments in these areas over the last 10 years.

Having spent the last two months in Apia visiting family and friends, I have lost count of how many times the power has gone off or surges that have destroyed a number of my family’s appliances. 

According to my relatives, over the last two years, the power quality has become so bad that even devices that were purchased to protect against power surges have had to be replaced a few times. 

I have read so much in the news about Samoa’s new power plants and the push for 100% renewable energy and personnel changes within E.P.C. 

Why don’t we focus on providing reliable power first to the long-suffering consumers before pursuing other things? 

Maybe those people you fired were the ones who knew how to fix these problems? Maybe investing in better infrastructure and retaining staff rather than buying fancy new rangers and paying HR consultants ridiculous amounts of money with no utility expertise should’ve been the first priority? 

You should take a leaf out of Fiji electricity authority’s book and see how things are run there. 

The water supply has also been terrible. It seems like were paying for muddy undrinkable water that gets disconnected every now and then. 

One thing I’ve noticed working in the region is that the most effective managers are those that have been trained and have the experience in management and administration. Not necessarily technical people. 

Perhaps its time to look at recruiting managers not engineers or someone’s relative to manage these utilities. 

They will probably do a better job and improve these basic services that Samoa needs. In the meantime I will head down to Le Well to see which appliances I can afford to replace and some more bottled water. 

 

K.S.

Disappointed customer of E.P.C & S.W.A.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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