Cabinet tours Savai'i, opens six new roads
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi and his Cabinet Development Committee have travelled around the big island for the past two days commissioning six new roads.
The mantra behind the infrastructure drive, according to the Cabinet, is: "What's good for Upolu is also good for Savai'i."
Six new access roads were declared open on Thursday and Friday in six different villages.
The total cost of the infrastructure opened in Savai'i this week alone is more than $3 million tala.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa was present and spoke at all the openings.
Speaking at the opening of Satuiatua's access road, Tuilaepa reminded the gathering that having good quality access roads enable the villagers to travel to their plantations easily.
Despite the economic challenges posed by the global pandemic affecting the countries of the world, Tuilaepa said his Government is not using that as an excuse to delay developments for the betterment of the country.
"The Government continues to carry out works that are for the betterment of the country despite the challenges brought upon us, economically because of the coronavirus global pandemic,” the Prime Minister said.
"The aim is to have good roads for our people to use so transportation is easier and accessible. The main objective is to make sure that our people get to travel on good roads so that they arrive at their destinations fast and safely."
Tuilaepa said having good roads was crucial to the economy not only of Upolu but also Savai'i.
"The Government is not focusing on developing our main city,” he said on Friday.
“We are not neglecting our island here in Savai'i and we continue to reach out and help develop our island."
He also used the opportunity to thank the Minister of the Ministry of Work, Transport, and Infrastructure (M.W.T.I.), Papali'i Niko Lee-Hang, and all the companies responsible for the construction works of the six new access roads.
He also acknowledged the efforts of selected Member of Parliaments from different villages for being tireless voices of the villages and advocating for their needs to the Government.
Tuilaepa also used the opportunity to remind the people of Savai'i to make good use of the newly opened access roads.
A high chief from Satuiatua, Muatamaga Leka Tuivanu, spoke on behalf of the village of Satuiatua to thank the Government of Samoa for granting their request for a new access road.
"We are happy that we finally got our wish," said Muatamaga.
"With grateful hearts, we thank the Prime Minister and his government for making our dream come true. We will enjoy this new road that will make it easy for us to travel to our plantations and back to our homes."
The six new roads that were opened include:
1) Tafua-Tai: Not a new road but the Member of Parliament requested assistance in upgrading the access road for the village. The Government accepted the request and the contract was awarded to F.I.C.O. Construction at cost of $679,380. It is five kilometres in length and five metres wide.
2) Satuiatua: The access road at Satuiatua was overseen by the Samoan Government in partnership with the World Bank under the Pilot Program Climate Resilience (P.P.C.R.). The construction work was carried out by Sakalafai Construction at a cost of $730,335. The road is 1.5 kilometres in length and 6 metres wide.
3) Vaisala: The construction work for the access road at Vaisala was carried out by Sakalafai Construction at a cost of $670,728 It is 2 kilometres in length and 5 metres wide.
4) Salimu: The work was carried out by F.I.C.O. Construction at the cost of $338,778, and it is 1.3 kilometres in length and 6 metres wide.
5) Lu’ua: The F.I.C.O. Construction Ltd was also responsible for the construction work for the access road at Lu’ua at the cost of $321,949 It is 1.2 kilometres in length and 7 metres wide.
6) Sapigi: The construction work was conducted by T.M. Transport Ltd at the cost of $370,672. It is 1.6 kilometres long and 6 metres wide.