The Vaisigano Bridge is to undergo a US$17million ($39m) facelift thanks to the government of Japan.
Yesterday, Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Samoa, Shinya Aoki, signed the Exchange of Notes under the Japanese Grant Aid “The Project for Reconstruction of Vaisigano Bridge.”
The signing of the Record of Discussion of the same project was immediately followed at the office of the Minister of Works, Transport and Infrastructure, Papali’itele Unasa Niko Lee Hang.
The grant which amounts up to $1,806 billion Japanese Yen (US$17million) will fund the implementation of the project.
Samoa had frequently suffered from damages from cyclones, and severe Cyclone Evan that struck in 2012 significantly damaged the country’s road infrastructure.
Since then, the reconstruction of the Vaisigano Bridge became a pressing issue in Samoa hence, the Samoan government recently requested grant aid from Japan for its rebuilding.
The grant will be made available and used properly and exclusively for the purchase of products and/or necessary services for its implementations therefore, the source country shall be the country of Japan.
At the ceremony, Prime Minister Tuilaepa conveyed the appreciation of the government of Samoa to the government of Japan for its steadfast support and continued assistance to Samoa’s development.
In his brief reply, Ambassador Aoki said the reconstruction of the Vaisigano Bridge would greatly facilitate physical distribution and enhance the transportation network that comprises the Beach Road as well as improving the lives of the residents of nearby villages.
This project aims to achieve the strategy set under the framework of Strategy for the Development of Samoa (SDS) 2012-2016 “improving the reliability of the road network and strengthening it against natural disasters and inclement weather” by ensuring all roads connecting to ports, airport and other important points are resilient against natural disasters as this creates an economic corridor for Samoa.
The new bridge will be a three-span PC interconnected pretensioned hollow slab bridge, which is to be design and construct using Japanese advantageous technology and will be executed by Japan’s International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Japan has been extending its cooperation through grants assistance to the Samoan government in developments of its socio-economic projects since 1977.