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Ah Liki Group closes pig farm, puts health first

The Ah Liki Group Investment's pig farm at the border of Falelauniu and Si'usega is set to be closed due to multiple complaints from residents and businesses in the area about the foul stench emanating from the pigsty.

The decsion was confirmed by Tanumapua Farm's General Manager, Leota Laumata Peleta.

He said the decision was a hard one but the farm's owner and businessman, Taimalie Charlie Westerlund, has made the decision to put people's health first.

The Tanumapua Farm's pigsty at Falelauniu and Siusega area, located right next to Manumailagi Garden, has a livestock of about 200 pigs. It is one of the biggest commercial pig farms in Samoa.

The 10-acre farm includes a cocoa farm, coconuts and banana plantation. It was set up years before the area was densely populated. 

A Siusega resident, who did not want to reveal her name, told the Samoa Observer that the unpleasant smell from the pig farm across the road has been a nuisance to her family for years.

"When we have visitors during the time the smell comes around, they have to hold their noses sometimes because the foul smell is so strong and unpleasant," she said.

"It comes early in the morning and also in the evenings, it worries me as it can have an effect not only on my family but everyone else around us because we can all smell it. Even the passing cars can smell it."

Leota said the pig farm has the value of more than $200,000 tala but none of that matters if peoples' health is being affected by it.

"The Falelauniu farm was aimed to be a model farm for commercial agricultural developments but as the pig farm has built up and the stock has increased, there was a problem that came with it," he said.

"This is not the first time we've received a complaint. Most times, Manumailagi calls me when they have a function in the next days to please do something about the smell so their function guests will not be affected."

The pig farm itself is well managed and clean, with a proper drainage system and a septic tank in place for the waste, assured Leota. 

However, the smell that is released by the farm itself as it is a livestock farm is "natural", it is only because the area the farm is located in, is now densely populated.

Currently, the Tanumapua Farm is in the process of getting rid of their livestock as they move to close it, while they focus solely on the banana plantation and other crops utilising the piece of land.

"Due to the many problems imposed by the pig farm, we have made the decision to close it down very soon. By the end of May, the livestock would have been gone by then. We have no options because we cannot relocate to Tanumapua where the chicken farm is at, for security and diseases' purposes."

Leota added that they have been visited by the Planning and Urban Management Agency (P.U.M.A) and Ministry of Health (M.O.H.) countless times due to complaints regarding the smell.

But each visit are satisfactory, says Leota, with the cleanliness and drainage system for the farm, but the smell is something that cannot be helped despite efforts to limit it.

"We'd rather look at the health of the people and we don't have any room to move to or any large portions of land for us to move into. These projects look at having more than 10 to 20 acres of areas."

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