Palisi resident sees red over fireworks' aftermath

By Soli Wilson 08 January 2020, 1:45PM

A Mt. Vaea resident is accusing the Government of neglecting residents and complains that Palisi locals were not consulted with before the recent New Year's fireworks display in the area. 

Pauga Paul Meredith had complained about safety before the year-end spectacle, which, this year for the first time was held from a raised platform overlooking Palisi.

But since the display was completed he is now raising issues about the possible long-term impact of land-clearing that led up to the fireworks and its potential impact on the families below the launchpad. 

Pauga said the impact of the land clearing, which included tree cutting and boulder clearing, may only become clear with the passage of time and tests to the mountainside's structural integrity following heavy rain. 

"You won’t see the consequences of their actions until heavy rainfall comes because Mt. Vaea soil erodes easily," he said.

"All that top soil is going to start moving and it's going to all end up to the people below because there's now no trees and plants that were holding the rain.

"They cut down so many trees, you can see how clear it is to see from down in town, and they are starting to dry."

Pauga also alleges that he was  told a fire truck would stand by his residence for the duration of the fireworks and others in any potential danger, in case of an emergency, but none showed up. 

"It's like they situated their [emergency resources] in front of those with the most money ensuring they are safe, while we don't get one.

"Luckily, my cousin that's just below my house, [had] a fire truck standing by, but they did not keep their word with me, it's like they were retaliating."

A petition was circulated by more than a dozen residents of Palisi to stop the Government’s fireworks before they took place. 

Plastic rubbish left on site post-fireworks was also an issue for the Palisi residence, saying "they did not do a good job cleaning up."

"The rain is going to wash all of that right down to where it will end up in the Vaisigano river."

Asked for comment, the Commissioner of the Fire and Emergency Services (F.E.S.A.), Lelevaga Fa’afouina Mupo said everything was settled before the fireworks and that he has nothing to add.

By Soli Wilson 08 January 2020, 1:45PM

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