Representatives from four projects receiving support this year under the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives met earlier this month with officials from the¬¬¬ Government of Canada to share information on their development initiatives.
The breakfast meeting was hosted at the Wild Foods Café at the Tiapapata Art Gallery where guests were provided a nutritious breakfast that included wild and semi-wild foods.
“O le Amoga Mamafa – The Heavy Burden [of non-communicable diseases] is the title given to the project that is being implemented by the Tiapapata Art Centre Inc., a charitable trust promoting traditional and contemporary arts and crafts in Samoa including documentary filmmaking.
The aim of the project is to increase awareness of non-communicable diseases, their risk factors and strategies to prevent them among the population of Samoa through the development and diffusion of a documentary film, the setting up of two pilot primary school kitchen gardens, and a short television cook show series utilizing wild and semi-wild foods not commonly consumed in Samoa but often known for their medicinal use.
“Some of these plants and trees are known around the world as super-foods, processed into capsules and other products to boost immune systems and improve eyesight and memory, among other health benefits,” explains Galumalemana who is managing the project. Three other projects have been approved funding and all the recipients expressed their gratitude for the support from the Government of Canada.
Matuaileoo Environment Trust Inc. (METI) is a charitable trust engaged in a variety of projects in the health, education and sustainable development fields. METI was awarded a CFLI grant in 2016 to set up a bio-digester technology hub at its Vailele farm, producing biogas for cooking and solar assisted drying of crops, and also producing liquid bio-fertilizer to enrich organic crops.
“This year, METI will be setting up a kitchen facility at its Moto‘otua Healthy Living Clinic, located at National Health Services hospital premises,” explains Dr. Walter Vermeulen. “The Canadian support will allow METI to present cooking demonstrations utilising a whole foods, plant based nutrition program that can assist with the reversal of obesity and various non-communicable diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.”
The village of Faleū, Manono, through the village council development committee has been approved funding to assist with adaptation to the impacts of climate change. “The village has been greatly impacted in recent years; by the 2009 tsunami, Cyclone Evan, which hit Samoa 2012, as well as with unusually heavy rainfall,” stated Leiautaua Kilali Ala‘ilima, a high chief of the village.
The Canadian support will provide for a small pavilion for ferry passengers, many of who are student. It will also upgrade the off island waste disposal system with a brick enclosure to contain rubbish going off island and provide training for women and youth in waste recycling and reduction. The enclosure will be located in a large hole created by the tsunami adjacent to the wharf.
The plan is to fill and cap this hole with stone fill and a concrete slab with the pavilion/brick rubbish enclosure built on top. It is the third phase of a larger wharf project to improve the wharf complex with more durable materials thereby mitigating the impact of natural disasters and rising sea levels.
The Independent Water Schemes Association has been approved funding to implement Phase 2 of their household water treatment systems that will allow communities to access clean drinking water.
The project will also provide water quality monitoring kits to monitor the effectiveness of these systems and provide additional information on water quality that will supplement the annual Ministry of Health water testing.