Villages should switch to Samoa Water Authority — Afamasaga
The Ministry of Women Community and Social Development has appealed to villages using independent water schemes to sign up to the Samoa Water Authority (S.W.A.) water supply to access safe drinking water.
The Ministry's C.E.O. Afamasaga Faauiga Mulitalo, said there are 30 villages from Upolu and Savai'i that use independent water schemes.
The water schemes use untreated water supplied to the villages under the Independent Water Scheme Association (I.W.S.A.) which comes under the Ministry.
“I.W.S.A. are untreated or the water supplied is unsafe for drinking, and the message that is conveyed to the consumers is to boil the water before consumption because a lot of people have relied on that water supply for a long time.
“We urge the public that S.W.A. provides reliable water supply and that they should switch because they provide treated water.
“I think the immediate advice we give them is to continue to boil the water but the long term is to transfer the scheme under S.W.A. because they have the engineers, technical people, and they have the facilities to monitor and provide safe drinking water to consumers - At first people opted for the scheme because it was free despite the advice that it was not treated,” she said.
Afamasaga said sometimes S.W.A. connections do not reach areas where some of the people live, and they have to pay for water connection and the easiest way for them is to go to the I.W.S.A.
She said the Government currently provides up to $1.5 million to the I.W.S.A. to upgrade village water schemes, with the funding covering construction works and supervision and technical engineering for villages covered under the scheme.
“Our Ministry provides an oversight over the I.W.S.A., the budgets and funding support that Government is providing to I.W.S.A, which is a total of 1.5 million and that’s particularly for new upgrade schemes for construction works and supervision, the technical engineering field that goes into the schemes that villages supply and request," she added.
“There is a budget of about a $100,000 that goes for the I.W.S.A. for its operation. We always have villages like one or two that request for their schemes in a year and we engage with engineers to do the surveys before we confirm which village to go into the next step or budget. If we do confirm then they are eligible for the budget which costs roughly around 1-1.5 million because it is very expensive"
“There are cases where their schemes are very old and want to upgrade and make improvement on the quality of water supply. We make sure that the health provides that testing of the quality of water .”