Vaiusu and Asau wharves not yet funded
The Government of Samoa has not yet secured funding for the Vaiusu and Asau wharf.
This was confirmed by Minister for Samoa Port Authority, Papali’i Niko Lee Hang in an interview with the Samoa Observer.
“Until the architecture, design and the feasibility study which is conducted by the Chinese [Government]; only then [will we seek funding for this project,” he said.
In June, 2019 Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi announced on his weekly media programme the proposed wharf in Vaiusu will be funded by the Chinese Government.
“The talks about a wharf in Vaiusu to be funded by Chinese were initiated by the Samoa Government not the Chinese," he said.
Papali’i told the Samoa Observer the Chinese Government may be funding the wharf, but they have not confirmed that officially.
“The Prime Minister did inquire with the Chinese vice Premier [Hu Chunhua] during his visit to Samoa recently and while he’s optimistic the final say has yet to come from the Chinese Government,” said Papali’i.
The financial feasibility study into the projects started in September.
Former politician and ecological expert, Toeolesulusulu Cedric Schuster, warned against the proposed Government’s Vaiusu project shortly after the Prime Minister’s announcement. He argued the project "will have an infinite environmental cost and lead to the loss of biodiversity, accelerated flooding and the displacement of communities.
“We need the look at the other very real costs to the people of Samoa, these include relocating the majority families of the coastal side of villages from Toamua to Sogi.
"As many as 10,000-20,000 people and businesses in this part of Faleata will need to be relocated.
“This whole area will be monopolised for the construction and dedicated to the wharf solely when its operational,” he said in a commentary.