Water supply hits 30-plus villages: S.W.A.

By Talaia Mika 19 December 2020, 8:10PM

The heavy downpour and severe flooding in recent days has disrupted water supply to more than 30 villages, the Samoa Water Authority says. 

In some areas water pipelines have either been destroyed or damaged by the severe flooding while for others water storage facilities have been inundated with mud, leading to contamination of the water supply.

The Samoa Water Authority (S.W.A.), in a public statement, named a number of villages that have had their water supply disrupted.

They include Malifa, Vailele Tai, Vaipuna, Tufuiopa, Palisi, Vaimoso, Taufusi, Toomatagi, Tuvao, Lelata, Moata’a, Fa’atoia, Apia, Matafele, Pesega, Saleufi, Magiagi, Vaivase Tai/Uta, Matautu Tai/Uta, Vini Fou, Lalovaea, Alamagoto, Savalalo, Sogi, Malua Fou, Fagalii, Vaiala, Tamaligi, Vaea, Vaimea, Fugalei, Mulinu’u and Levili.

A Sogi resident told the Samoa Observer that half of their home’s personal effects were damaged by Friday's flood.

Christina Schuster, a mother-of-one, said their main source of water was disrupted by the flood and the only place they can get water is Tuana’i village which is over 14 kilometres from Sogi.

“We have families there whom we can get water from but the thing is it’s too far and transportation is a challenge in our situation,” she said.

“At the moment, since last night, we haven’t had access to any water except for the bottles of water we bought from the shop to drink and the water that’s remained in our refrigerator.

“For food, we’re relying on snacks from the shop to eat and bread and butter but no cooked food.”

Mrs. Schuster resides with her bedridden mother-in-law, her husband and daughter as well as her young nephew. Asked how they’re going to get water to bathe, Mrs. Schuster said she is yet to figure that out.

“I guess we’re still waiting for any assistance from the Government in terms of water for our food and drinks as well as water [for a] bath because this is where they come in,” she added.

According to the Sogi resident, to date only five families remain after the Government made the decision to relocate them in 2011.

The families have refused to leave the land that the Government says it has plans for, arguing that it was given to their ancestors. 

Asked if her family regrets its decision to remain in Sogi following Friday’s flooding, she said that was not the case. 

“We are one of the five families that wanted to remain on our land and we’re going to remain here forever or until we hear from the Government,” she said.

The water disruption in the various villages has also affected local businesses, though companies such as Le Vai Ltd in Togafuafua are of the view that they are pulling through, as they have a water tank which keeps them going.

“Luckily (the company branch) here in Tufuiopa, it’s usually the first to be flooded and closed but (not this time),” she said. “At the moment, I know we have a tank and my husband told me that the water is on but (I guess) we’ll have to rely on the public (supply).”

The public was also advised that water trucks are available when needed and to contact phone numbers 21267 or 8421267.

By Talaia Mika 19 December 2020, 8:10PM

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