Thousands of families now use water supply

Access to water through the Samoa Water Authority (S.W.A.) network continues to expand, enabling thousands of families to use Government-supplied water for the first time.

The expansion in the services of the S.W.A. reflects its efforts to extend water supply to areas without or with limited supply, states the State-owned entity’s 2018-2019 Annual Report.

As families continue to move further inland due to the impact of climate change on coastal and low-lying areas, the S.W.A. also continues to develop new supply systems to cater for the increasing demand.

The annual report says that the Lotofaga water system has moved from the Independent Water Scheme to the S.W.A. and new pipelines were installed to cater for the lower part of the village, where supply could be extended from the Matatufu borehole to approximately 1,210 people. This included the replacement of the liner for the 270 cubic metre tank at Matatufu.

The Magiagi water supply system began construction to provide treated water to approximately 1,759 people. Construction has also begun for the Lepale and Faleasiu uta (Sapulu) system and part of Fasitoo Uta co-funded by the S.W.A. as well as the pilot programme for climate resilience to service approximately 1,347 people.

There were also drilling projects at Satapuala and Saleaumua co funded by the S.W.A. and P.P.C.R. starting in October 2018. Design works for the reticulation system could then be done for the supply areas of Saleaumua, Amaile, part of Samusu, Mutiatele to approximately 3,210 people.

For Savai’i the S.W.A. sub-mains were installed on the big island during the reviewed financial year where close to 2,000 people have access to water, adds the annual report.

“The Gataivai system upgrade included a borehole drilled to 218 m, installation of a 250m3 tank, installation of a new 1860 m pipeline completed and replacement works ongoing to the old network.”

In accordance with the S.W.A. customer database, approximately 88 per cent of the population of Samoa is estimated to come under its coverage.

“There have been significant improvements done to the database in issues and discrepancies such as duplication of customer registration, customers who are connected but not otherwise registered in our database, and identifying abandoned properties with existing accounts so as to prevent inadvertent new connections.”

The annual report further states that the significant increase in the number of customers being billed for both domestic and commercial – giving an indication of the S.W.A. water supply coverage per service – reflects an increasing trend since 2015 for domestic customers in both Upolu and Savaii with slight changes to the number of commercial customers in view of capital works, improved database records and billing efficiency.

The S.W.A. continues to respond to its customer’s queries and complaints with the provision of an afterhour’s service utilising the S.W.A. call center, added the annual report. 

There has also been an improvement to internal systems and network support and formalized call centre processes to improve categorisation, coding and centralized customer complaints to ensure continuity of follow-ups with operations and S.W.A. customers.

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