Vaisigano Catchment Project reviewed

The Ministry of Finance (M.O.F.) emphasised the importance of being ready to adapt to changing conditions to keep the Vaisigano Catchment Project (V.C.P.) on track at a workshop about the project's future this week. 

The two-day planning workshop for the project concluded on Thursday.

The Ministry is the agency responsible for the project on behalf of the Government, which has co-financed the US $65.7 infrastructure investment together with a grant from the Green Climate Fund (G.C.F.). 

The biannual workshop brought together 13 Government agencies involved in the catchment project. Collaborating partners and other organisations involved in the project also joined representatives from the United Nations Development Programme (U.N.D.P.) and the Ministry of Finance’s Project Management Unit. 

The Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Finance, Leiataua Henry Ah Ching, said that the Vaisigano Catchment Project is a priority for the Government, and the workshop is designed to help ensure that its progress is effectively and properly monitored. 

“More importantly, this will ensure the benefits and outcomes of the V.C.P. will provide for the safety of the people that live within the 31 villages of the Vaisigano River Catchment Area, as well as the wider Samoa population that will be using the investments funded under the G.C.F.-V.C.P., will be achieved,” said Leiataua.

The workshop provided a platform for those involved to share their experience of the 2021 annual work plan, and suggest improvements for the project’s final two years.

The project began in 2017 and is set for completion in 2023.

The U.N.D.P. officer-in-charge, Verena Linneweber, said the experience of the past one and a half years showed even ideal planning could not ward off unexpected circumstances.

But Ms. Linneweber said anticipating different scenarios and remaining flexible was key to staying on track. 

“In this regard, our discussions at this work planning and budgeting workshop are critical in reexamining and adapting the plans that we jointly formulated at the beginning of this year and setting the tone for the months ahead,” said Linneweber. 

A joint statement from the M.O.F. and U.N.D.P. said that regular reviews of the catchment project strengthened partnerships and coordination.

The workshop concluded to make adjustments to the 2021 Annual Work Plan and the budget approved by G.C.F.-V.C.P. Board on 16 December last year.

New adaptive management strategies were also brought in to help meet the catchment’s financial targets such as more regular meetings of the organisations involved in the project. 

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