Residents raise alarm

By Ilia L. Likou ,

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GREASE AND OIL VISIBLE: This picture was taken not far from the river.

GREASE AND OIL VISIBLE: This picture was taken not far from the river. (Photo: Ilia L. Likou)

A diesel spill reported by residents of Tanugamanono could have disastrous consequences on the environment – especially if it spills into the rivers.

The alarm bell was raised by residents of Tanugamanono yesterday when they reported the matter to the Samoa Observer after failing to get are response from the relevant government ministries.

“I want our leaders to be aware about what has been happening,” Ema Tala’ave told the Samoa Observer.  

 “I contacted the Electric Power Corporation and P.U.M.A three weeks ago over the matter and up until now, nothing has been done about it."

“It has been almost a month now and I have not seen or heard a single thing from the E.P.C. and P.U.M.A.”

Repeated attempts to get a comment from E.P.C. and P.U.M.A. yesterday were unsuccessful.

But Tala’ave told the Samoa Observer they discovered the diesel spill at the beginning of the month.

 “As you can see on the way (road) to our home, there is diesel and oil every where,” she said. 

“I’m grateful it hasn’t been raining because this will surely end up in the water ways and rivers where it will then be flown to the sea. 

 “We all know that the sea is where most of us are getting food from and if this is how they treat this matter, then something might happen.”

Tala’ave is also concerned about the damage done to the soil.

 “Since it happened, the diesel stays on the ground it damages the soil.”

The mother said she was hoping that the authorities would solve the problem without the need to go public about it but their inaction has left her with no choice.

FRUSTRATED RESIDENTS: “Don’t you (E.P.C. and P.U.M.A) ever think that this is just a ‘spill’ on the road, but try to think of the long term impact on the environment”.
FRUSTRATED RESIDENTS: “Don’t you (E.P.C. and P.U.M.A) ever think that this is just a ‘spill’ on the road, but try to think of the long term impact on the environment”.
“During night time, the smell is really thick and we're concerned about our health right now.”
“During night time, the smell is really thick and we're concerned about our health right now.”

 “This is not a call from one person but from the whole country,” she said.

“This has the potential to affect our communities and our environment in many different ways, I mean this could put lives in danger.

“O le po’u e ono avea ma papala, don’t you (E.P.C. and P.U.M.A) ever think that this is just a ‘spill’ on the road, but try to think of the long term impact on the environment.

 “I understand that diesel leaks have the potential to cause extensive damage both to the sea and the coast and marine life and wreck people’s livelihoods.

“They understand as well but I’m not sure of why they haven’t done anything.”

Tala’ave added that their Village is also suffering from the smell coming from the diesel.

“My brother wasn’t feeling well the last few days because of the smell from diesel...this is not good for us and other families around the area.

“Not only that, but children use this same road to go to school and come back home everyday.”

Another resident, Afa Ta’ateo shares Tala’ave’s concerns.

“My plantation was right behind the power plant back in the days and when this problem came up, I cleared it all out.

“I mean, what is the point of planting and growing crops knowing that diesel is everywhere?

 “It’s better for me to cut it out than feeding my family from the land where diesel continues to spill everyday. I don’t have much to say about this matter because you are now seeing it with your own eyes especially you can also smell how bad it is.

“During night time, the smell is really thick and we're concerned about our health right now.”

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