Dam to address climate change impact - E.P.C.

The proposed Alaoa flood-control multi-purpose dam will be able to mitigate the effects of climate change.

The Electric Power Corporation project manager, Fonoti Perelini Perelini, said during consultations with Vaisigano residents that Samoa remains vulnerable to climate change and the proposed project will address some of those issues.

“Climate change has been an issue for Samoa and the world for years now and the effects of it have taken our beautiful environment.”

“The seashore at the river-end in front of Sheraton Hotel is always very dirty and a bad view for our tourist – whenever there’s flood and with the dam to support the river – we won’t have to worry about that anymore,” he said.

Residue from the Vaisigano River ends up in the ocean next to Matautu wharf, which Fonoti says is a concern as it is raising the seabed, which over the long-term period could become hazardous for ships.   

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“That’s why we have to dig our wharf again for it to become deeper, so the ships can work and it will always be an additional work for us, if we don’t do something about it,” he added.

According to the EPC Project Manager, the proposed dam will have the capacity to hold rubbish and dirt, and stop them from becoming part of the flood that dangerously washes down to the sea.   

The consultation between the EPC officials and the Vaisigano residents was convened recently at the Maluafou College Hall to get their views on the proposed project. Consultations were also done for residents in the villages of Maagao, Maluafou, Malifa and Leone. 

Some of the residents included matais from Apia, namely Vainalepa Tavita and Lima Soifua Puaaefu, who presented their views at the public gathering.

“I thank the Prime Minister and his Cabinet for considering Vaimauga’s safety because we had been struggling with this flood for over the years,” Vainalepa said.

Lima said the consultation process should have been initiated long ago to capture the views of the people. 

“It’s what should’ve been done long time ago because we don’t communicate with the times on we’re not aware of the next flood and the next,” he said. 

The feedback from the various consultations will be processed by the EPC and a decision will be made on the viability of the project.

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