Lelata residents still waiting for seawall

Lelata residents claim they are still waiting for the construction of a seawall, which they were promised by the Government.

Lelata resident, Gordon Bartley, said this when responding to a Samoa Observer report on the reconstruction plans of the Lelata Bridge by the Government.

Mr. Bartley – whose land sits on the edge of the river bank – says the Government’s plans to raise the bridge will not mitigate the effects of flooding when the river overflows.

“We have been waiting for a seawall for years, if it’s ever going to be built. Lelata residents are still waiting for their seawall, which has been in the projects for God knows when.

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 “There have already been plans in place for a seawall on our side, they came and showed us their plans of a seawall from here to Magiagi,” he said.

The Government’s recent announcement of its plan to raise the bridge to address flooding from the river hasn’t gone down well with the resident.

Commenting on the project, Mr. Bartley said: “It’s a waste of money.”

He added: “It’s been years, and we’re still waiting for when they’ll be doing it and now they’re doing the bridge? What for? If they’re trying to raise the bridge because they think it might be overflown by the river, I’m telling you now, ever since that bridge was there, the water has never gone over.” 

If the Government is keen on raising the bridge, then Mr. Bartley said he hopes they will not raise the road too, as it could lead to the creation of a dam and more problems for the residents.  

“As far as I’m concerned I can’t stop them from raising the bridge – but as long as they don’t shift the road – because once they raise it, when the water overflows, it will just come back when it hits that raised area, creating another big dam. Raising the bridge is just not going to minimise any effects of flooding unless they build this seawall,” he added.

Comment is being sought from the Land Transport Authority.

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