Rubbish buildup worries Moamoa village mayor

By Marc Membrere 25 August 2020, 2:00PM

Moamoa village mayor, Tofilau Uelese Tofilau, has expressed concern at the buildup of waste in front of residential homes due to the alleged refusal by garbage trucks to collect rubbish in the area.

The mayor told the Samoa Observer that the buildup of rubbish is due to the refusal by garbage trucks to use the road that connects the village with the rest of Apia, as they claim that the road quality is faulty. 

"This is the only rubbish stand for the entire village there, the reason why is because the rubbish truck cannot access that road because they said it isn't good, and that there should be a rubbish stand near the main road," Tofilau said.

He further emphasised that people from the other side of the village also use the same rubbish stand, which has resulted in an overflow of garbage and is further exacerbated when residents also place their rubbish on the ground next to the rubbish stand.

"The work that we did is clean up the rubbish and I would look for sacks to place the rubbish in. We have been doing it for a while but it's still the same outcome," he added in an interview.

"Another thing is that stray dogs come and tear up the rubbish and then rubbish would be all over the place. 

“What will happen now is that we are going to have a village meeting sometime this week and we will then decide if any more rubbish will be placed here.

"If people cannot come and place the rubbish properly then there will be no more rubbish stands and it would be best if they take their own rubbish to Tafaigata."

Tofilau reiterated that they will decide in the village meeting on a future plan for a new and bigger rubbish stand for the village. 

"I guess we will build one bigger than the current rubbish stand. There was one before that but we made a bigger one but what is happening now is that it is still filling up.”

Moamoa village will also get a new and improved road with the mayor putting the start of the road’s construction timeline as December 2020.

"Right now we are getting a new road, probably by the end of the year construction of the new road will commence," he said.

"If the roads at the back were good then there will be rubbish stands in front of every home.

“Once the road is fixed then there should be rubbish stands in front of every home for the rubbish truck to take the rubbish."

Cleaning the area where the rubbish stand is located is one of the village's main projects, according to Tofilau.

"In the morning there is already rubbish everywhere. We would then clean it up and by the next morning there will be more rubbish," he said.

"The trips the rubbish truck takes here isn't enough. I think that the rubbish truck should come here five days a week. It only comes here for two days, Tuesday and Thursday. Many people in the village but [just] one rubbish stand here.

"It only takes one day for it to be filled up. It's only Monday and it's already full so probably there would be lots of rubbish on the ground by tonight."

Tofilau said workers who accompany the garbage trucks only collect rubbish from the stands and not on the ground.

Recently, staff from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment [MNRE] assisted with the rubbish collection, which Tofilau said surprised the residents.

"We were surprised that the Ministry showed up to clean up the rubbish because we were busy attending a seminar by the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development on Saturday. After the seminar, we came here and the M.N.R.E. team was cleaning up the rubbish," he said.

"I thank them for that. We were supposed to clean it up after the seminar but we got assistance from them and I thank them for that."

By Marc Membrere 25 August 2020, 2:00PM

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