Villagers express fear

Residents living along the edge of Solosolo village are concerned their lives are in danger as big waves continue to pound the seawall along the coastline. 

In just a span of 10 years, 74-year-old Faumuina Sisilia Talamaivao and her husband, Toomata Leota Talamaivao, 80, have seen the deteriorating state of their rocky seawall. 

“What’s happening here is threatening our lives,” Faumuina to the Samoa Observer yesterday. 

“This seawall was done in 2008, about 10 years ago and it needs maintenance. It’s sinking because all the rocks have been washed out.

“What makes it worse is that here’s the sea, and there’s the river down there, so when it rains then the river rises and sea rises at the same time, which makes it worse as you can see now,” she added. 

Faumuina said huge waves crash onto the seawall when there’s torrential rain and even during good weather. 

“And this is not the first time it has been doing that. It’s been like that since last year. When the seawall was first done, it was way up and now its all right down. So once these big rocks are gone, then what, what are we going to do?

“We are worried because it is life-threatening so in a span of more than 10 years, this has happened.” 

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About 10 families signed an application for assistance in October last year, and they are still waiting for a response.  

“We applied to the Deputy Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mataafa because she’s Minister for Environment 

“I contacted the CEO for Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Ulu Bismarck Crawley, and they sent somebody to do a report early last month. That was the last time they visited Solosolo. 

“We’ve already been to our MP Lauofo, for some help, and he said that he’s going to write a letter to the MNRE and the Public Works Minister Niko Lee Hang, and see what he can do to help. 

“We still haven’t heard from anyone. This thing is not going to wait for them to make a decision.”

Faumuina said her family is the worst-hit, and she is seeking assistance from anyone or any organisation to help them. 

“I don’t know how long this will be. Sometimes it doesn’t rain but this still occurs, but it’s worse when it rains and the river overflows. 

“The seawall was done because of this very same issue. This sea wall was withstanding for a few years but it’s not going to last forever isn’t it? It needs maintenance and that’s what it needs right now, just a few rocks to make it safer. 

“Bismarck Crawley suggested that we move uphill, but I said we haven’t got a land up the hill, the only land we have uphill is where we have our plantation and that’s the mountainous terrain. We can’t move anywhere apart from here.”

Famuina and her husband moved to New Zealand in 2008 when the seawall was constructed and only came back in May last year. 

“In May last year the seawall was really high, but in October last year the rocks just sank, that’s how fast it eroded.” 

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