Solosolo mother's assistance to passing motorists

Every day after a rainy night along the windy roads on the east coast road of Upolu, a 50-year-old mother takes it upon herself to offer temporary relief to passing motorists.

After a weekend of bad weather, the mother-of-two, Pepe Tauvasa Leota from Solosolo, was levelling multiple potholes on the road in front of her home. She says the gesture is intended to help passing motorists, nor is it her first time doing so. 

It was not the first time for her to do so.

"It is only when it rains when I come out here to fill the potholes with sand in efforts to level out the roads in front of our house," she said.

"Every time it rains, the water washes away every attempt that was done to try and fix that road, even after the companies who have been contracted to fix these roads, the rain ruins it all.

"That's why our family makes the effort to try and patch up this road for the sake of the passing public. We notice that so many passing cars have a hard time navigating through the big potholes."

Ms. Leota said that while road maintenance contractors do show up every now and then to fix the roads, nothing seems to last.

"That's why we thought of helping out, to help out the public, we listen with pity as so many cars fail to manoeuvre through the large potholes," she said.

"Their cars end up making such loud noises. There are those who know how to drive with care, and also those who drive so carelessly, but it does not stop us from wanting to help out.

"It is just something to offer relief for motorists now until the road maintenance companies come by again to patch up the roads."

The Lands and Transport Authority (L.T.A.) Annual Report for Financial Year 2019-2020 had revealed that more than $22 million has been spent by the Government on road maintenance in Upolu and Savai’i over a two-year period since 2017. 

For road works in Upolu, more than $15 million was awarded to the contractors, according to the annual report. 

The impromptu assistance came after the Land Transport Authority terminated two road maintenance contracts worth hundreds of thousands of tala due to alleged “lack of performance”. As a consequence, the companies were “blacklisted” from making more bids until next year.  

The Samoa Observer revealed that the affected companies were Silva Transport and K.L.S.S. landscaping services, with each case involving contracts that are understood to be worth more than half a million tala.  

Last year, Land Transport Authority (L.T.A.) Chief Executive Officer, Galumalemana Titi Tuvanu-Schwalger admitted that the reconstruction of deteriorating main roads around Upolu and Savai’i will be competing for funding with the Government's ambitious infrastructure agenda of building new major roads and bridges.

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