Bad roads, safety and the upcoming General Election

The residents of Leauva’a have a legitimate complaint.

And it’s likely they are not the only ones confronted by the deteriorating state of their road. Thousands of other Samoans across the country are likely to be experiencing the same problem.

Today, the relevant authorities would do very well to listen and respond appropriately. The sooner the better. You see these concerns are important because they cost ordinary citizens of Samoa money everyday.

In a story titled “Worsening road drives residents' concerns” published in the Sunday Samoan yesterday, the issue was raised once more. This time, residents of Leauva’a expressed grave concerns about the poor condition of their road.

The road in question links the coastal area of the village to farmlands and the wider Aleisa region on the hill. The man who was brave enough to raise the issue is Kevin Gardner, who pointed out that the condition of the road is almost unbearable.

“The road from Leauva’a up to Aleisa the road is pretty bad up there,” he said.

“So when we travel to see our family up there, we take less than five minutes to travel up to this point in the taxi, after that it takes close to 40 minutes just getting up to our families place, which is not really far.”

Now that’s a bit steep, don’t you think?

To take 40 minutes to get to somewhere that should normally take five minutes definitely tells a story. But then again, pictures don’t lie and the ones published yesterday are quite grim.

That road needs to be fixed and fixed immediately.

Time is not the only concern. There is also the bigger issue of safety.

“The road makes you drive on the wrong side of the road on the side with the bushes just so that we can avoid the bad parts,” he said.

“Everyone is trying to drive without breaking their car. The road has gone worst, especially with the rain we had last month.”

There are other challenges. Mr. Gardner said taxi drivers are always reluctant to take passengers to Leauva’a because of the road.  

“If a pulenu’u lived up where my family lives then they would want something done because of the bad road,” he said.

“You want tourists driving around Samoa and a few adventurous tourists driving up there just to be curious.”

The fact is bad roads are not new to Samoa. We see this every year and members of the public have become tired of it.

Which means that Mr. Gardner is not alone in his concerns. His views would be shared by hundreds of motorists who have to put up with the sub-standard roads every day.

The fact is the state of some of our roads are absolutely appalling. It is a crying shame and a very poor reflection of the Government.

Nobody wants bad roads. It’s costing taxpayers of this country time, money and their hard-earned resources. Imagine the bill the government would be left to pay if drivers, who claim their vehicles have been damaged after hitting a pothole, were able to claim compensation from the relevant authorities?

The truth is that not a single day goes by without a vehicle being wrecked by the roads. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Mr. Gardner and the people of Leauva’a are the latest to complain and voice their frustrations.

Let their call for help not fall on deaf ears and in vain.

To be fair to the Government, their budget is limited and there are other areas of priority. We understand that.

But then again, with the General Election just over two years away, this might be the best time to start making some noise about those bad roads. These bad roads always somehow miraculously get fixed when an election is around the corner. So there is hope up ahead.

Have a wonderful week ahead Samoa, God bless!

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