Better water access for thousands

22 October 2016, 12:00AM

Thousands of Samoans will have better access to water thanks to the government of Japan. 

The U.S$17million “Consolidated Urban Untreated Water Supply Schemes Rehabilitation Project” opened on Thursday, securing safety water for about 45,000 people living in and around Apia.

The first part of the opening was the Tapatapao water treatment plant at the Samoa Water Authority (S.W.A) Tapatapao water facility.

The second part involved the Vailima, Vaivase-uta and Alaoa water treatment plants opened yesterday at the S.W.A’s Vailima and Vaivase-uta water facility.

The project aims to improve the sanitation environment in project sites to secure safe drinking water by supplying treated water and its stable supply by service reservoirs and pressure breaking tanks, targeting the three water supply systems of Tapatapao, Vailima and Vaivase –uta.

In addition, the project will provide upgrades for water intake facilities, transmission pipelines, distribution pipelines and installation of water meters administered by S.W.A.

“Japanese Government supports development of Samoa by basically Grant assistance not by loan assistance,” said Japan’s Ambassador to Samoa, Tuimaugaoali’i Kazumasa Shibuta.

“Water is a very crucial substance to make possible our lives on earth, especially clean drinking water is essential to be able to provide quality life avoiding infectious diseases.” This project’s implementation is based on the prioritised areas of Japan’s assistance namely, contributed to environmental issues including water management that was declared by the Government of Japan at the 6th Palm Islands Leaders Meeting (P.A.L.M 6).

Japan’s goodwill for Samoa 

It is my greatest honour to be here with you on behalf of the Government and people of Japan as a witness of handing over the Water Treatment Plant in Tapatapao built by the Japan Grant Assistance.

First of all, thank you all who have been involved in the project for your tireless work. Samoan builders, suppliers, Japanese contractor and consultant, you have completed to construct new facility within almost scheduled time. And thanks to the people of Tapatapao, Tafaigata and Falelauniu-Uta for your patience to wait for clean water. Of course, thank you, all staff of Samoa Water Authority as main coordinator of project, for your devotional work.

The project has been requested by Samoan Government on August 2011 and Exchange of Note had been signed on February 2014 for a grant up to one billion eight hundred and thirty one million Japanese Yen (¥1,831,000,000) equivalent to approximately $43million Tara signed between former Minister of Works, Transportation and Infrastructure, Mr. Manu'alesagalala Enokati Posala and myself.

Of course the project satisfies the Samoan Development Strategy (SDS) 2012-2016 which further prioritized under Water & Sanitation Sector Plan involves the improvement of urban water supply service by the Samoa Water Authority (SWA) as one of the important strategy.

The Project is a one of the Japan Grant Assistance, which continues forty years in Samoa, for example Apia Port, Mulifanua Port, Salelologa Port, Current Faleolo Airport, Lady Samoa II、 Lady Naomi, Lady Samoa III, tug boat, National University of Samoa, etc. , since beginning totally about 32 billion Japanese Yen equivalent to 760 million WST gifted to Samoa by current exchange rate. This is a one of proofs of friendship between Samoa and Japan.

Japanese Government support development of Samoa through basically Grant Assistance. One exceptional case is Power Sector Expansion Project supporting EPC which is a concessionary loan, because it is co-financing project with Asia Development Bank.

Japanese Government is one of Samoan Developing Partner, working with other partners, New Zealand, Australia, USA, China, World Bank and Asian Developing Bank. However, I would like to ask journalist to make clear mention what a kind of assistance, for example grant or loan, if it is loan, condition is important information. In case when you borrow the money from banks, interest rate is crucial. The project finance is same.

Last week I was surprised at opinion page of newspaper after the Breaking Ceremony of Port Project. Some readers expressed anxiety of returning money for Japanese Port Project. I have been really surprised at this misunderstanding. That is the reason why I reiterate the type of Japanese assistance.

Anyway, water is very crucial substance to make possible our lives on earth. Especially clean drinking water is essential thing to be able to provide quality life with avoiding infectious diseases and promoting economic activities.

Now, SWA is going to manage the facility as a public asset and provide clean water to the resident of downstream from here as your responsible occupation. I have already received the good report form JICA expert and consultant that SWA has become efficient organization, high discipline, high response and hard work.

I hope the lesson from JICA experts under the Capacity Enhancement Project for Samoa Water Authority Cooperation with Okinawa will help SWA for daily efficient operation. As you know, Okinawa is an island in southern part of Japan. Japan is also an island country bigger than Samoa but smaller than P.N.G.

This project is a reflection of Japan’s goodwill and friendship as partner, and while working in such development projects will strengthen our friendly relation.

Finally, I sincerely hope that this project would become a valuable social investment to provide quality water as well as goodwill investment to promote mutual friendship, Samoa and Japan.

Faafetai lava ma Ia Manuia.

22 October 2016, 12:00AM

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