Residents value natural springs for survival
The challenges brought about by the coronavirus pandemic and the border shutdowns has had a positive impact on villagers returning to take care of their natural water springs and wells.
The trend has been noted by the Energy and Renewable Energy Division of the Scientific Research Organisation of Samoa (S.R.O.S) which has been assisting and monitoring water sites around Upolu.
In an interview with Samoa Observer, the Head of the Division, Annie Tuisuga, said residents and villages have accepted how important these wells and natural water springs are for their survival.
Twenty six water sprints and natural water pools have been identified in 20 villages.
“They’re very good and they’re very helpful," she said of members of the public. "They are happy that we showed up because they know that we’re monitoring the quality and then we can provide feedback if there’s anything of concern for them."
On Apolima Island, the main source of drinking water is a natural spring.
Speaking to Samoa Observer during a telephone interview, Salesulu Puluseu Tautauiolevao said the natural spring has been their only source of water since the beginning.
“Even up until now, we’re still drinking from this spring water," he said. "We’re always making sure that it’s free of contamination from nature and people."
Apolima’s spring water is excluded from the water scheme by the S.R.O.S. division.
“It would be nice to include our water in that water program so we can be more than sure that our water is pure for drinking especially during this time of a health crisis.”
With the water scheme, the division is working with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (M.N.R.E) as per initiative by the Government.
The water monitoring programme is to better understand the chemical and microbiological composition of Samoa’s waterways, based on the knowledge that certain chemicals and bacteria that make their way into waterways can be: harmful to human and animal health; reduce vegetation and health; and alter the physical characteristics of an ecosystem when they exceed their normal concentrations.
“S.R.O.S together with M.N.R.E works to identify and understand the link between human activities, natural process and hydrological functioning and their impacts on human health, as preconditions for efficient water resources management,” Ms. Tuisuga said.