Cabinet ends project suspension

By Matai'a Lanuola Tusani T - Ah Tong 25 May 2019, 9:00PM

A Civil Society Support Programme (C.S.S.P.)-funded village water tank project which was setup to assist families with limited access to water has resumed. 

The decision to lift the suspension on the scheme called Rainwater Harvesting Projects — which is funded by the Civil Society Support Programme (C.S.S.P.) — was made by the Cabinet.  

This was confirmed in a Press Release issued by the Civil Society Support Programme. 

“The Civil Society Support Programme has received Cabinet approval to resume its rainwater harvesting projects with the conditions that while awaiting the establishment of local standards; the Civil Society Support Programme will proceed with bulk tender of water tanks —where only local and overseas companies that comply with the Australia and New Zealand Standards and have received certification — are eligible to bid,” the statement says. 

According to the statement, Government received reports in late 2018 relating to the quality of the polyethylene (plastic) water tanks. Consequently, the Cabinet ordered the temporary halt of the project.

“The Civil Society Support Programme, since the beginning of the rainwater harvesting projects, has not received a complaint from a vulnerable household or community about a faulty water tank,” stated the statement. 

“However, the temporary halt has allowed the Civil Society Support Programme and its partners to review the quality of the water tanks manufactured in Samoa, and installed in communities through its rainwater harvesting projects. 

“The Government, through the Ministry of Finance (M.O.F.), Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour (M.C.I.L.) and other relevant agencies, has secured technical assistance from overseas to develop local standards for polyethylene water tanks and to check water tanks already installed through the Civil Society Support Programme's projects.”

In addition, the Government has enforced in Samoa quality standards for the project through the use of Australia and New Zealand standards, which specify requirements for the design and manufacture of polyethylene storage tanks. 

“With these developments, the Government wishes to ensure that communities are receiving and using high-quality water tanks to harvest clean water.”

The Civil Society Support Programme is a joint initiative by the Government and development partners to operate as mechanism facilitating grants for the development of the Civil Society Support Programme through community-led initiatives. 

The water tank project is amongst many initiatives financed by Civil Society Support Programme through its funding programmes. 

Since 2016, selected communities have been able to locally procure and installed plastic water tanks, for households and communal access to water. 

The project has benefited thousands of Samoans with the assistance that allowed families in rural villages, Savai’i and some in urban area to have access to water. 

By Matai'a Lanuola Tusani T - Ah Tong 25 May 2019, 9:00PM

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