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Research to boost resilience

The water and sanitation sector hopes to move forward by investing more on research to boost resilience to climate change and natural disaster. 

This was according to the Water and Sanitation Sector Coordinator, Ruth Ueselani, during the Eighth National Water and Sanitation Sector Forum at the Samoa Convention Center, T.A.T.T.E. Building yesterday.

“There is an initiative under the water and sanitation sector called the research initiative programme.

“The programme is whereby all the data and information that is needed by the implementing agencies for the work that they do. “However, there is no dedicated person assigned for this task so this is where they present their concepts to our division to advertise for independent researchers outside the sector to conduct researches,” she said. 

Ruth said they have independent researchers, private consultancies and researchers from the National University of Samoa who have done independent research and analysis for the sector.

“This initiative started in 2012 so research are conducted in order to gain information and so at the end of every research they must do a presentation.

“They present to the sector their findings based on what they investigated, and how the information will address the information gaps of the sector.

“In addition to that, we have not only looked at other researchers that have done programmes that are relevant to the water and sanitation,” she added. 

The flood and warning system presented by the Government’s Meteorological Division is an example, said Ruth, as they work with the Water Resources Division to get early weather forecast when there has been heavy rainfall in a number of days.

“Their work is to send out warnings for those that are prone to flooding during heavy rainfall. 

“Their presentations are significant in terms of awareness for our sector about other partners, and stakeholders that are working to inform the sector in terms of policies planning and implementation of works.

“All researches done under the research initiative programme, and once all findings have been finalized they compiled in the sector’s journal,” she added.

Moving forward, Ruth said they hope to invest more in research to better equip the sector to deal with climate change. 

“In saying that we refer to new innovations, new ideas, new technology which are useful within the context of Samoa, because there is no use of getting advanced technology when it is not beneficial to Samoa.”

Other research work that was unveiled at the conference include an environmental impact assessment of Vaiusu Bay, a biogas feedstock study by Scientific Research Organisation of Samoa and various partners.

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