Ecological disaster fears downplayed

The Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Suluimalo Amataga Penaia, is adamant the government’s multi-million-tala Vaiusu wharf plan will not harm the environment and cause and ecological disaster for Samoa.

The Chief Executive Office offered the assurance during the opening of the National Environment Week.

He was asked about the potential ecological disaster in the area, given the importance of mangroves stretching from Sogi all the way to Vaiusu.

The area is likely to be cleared when the government plan begins.

But Suluimalo said this will not happen.

“We have put in recommendations in the areas for the ports to be developed and we are also looking at the critical areas that we need to preserve and protect from that development,” he said.

“For example, the mangroves in that area in the Vaiusu Bay." 

“These are the critical areas, we need to reserve these areas and shift the wharf towards the sea and also the Vaitele area.”

Suluimalo said the model that is being developed for the wharf aligns with their plan.

Asked what action they will take if the funders do not accept their recommendations, Suluimalo said he is positive the government will place the safety of the environment first. 

 “The government is actually lobbing and promoting the safety of our environment,” he said.

“We are not developing something to degrade our environment."

“Everything has to be aligned with our environment plans. We also need to assess the impact on our environment before any development goes ahead.”

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