Sagaga No. 3 overcomes impasse to get funding

By Matai'a Lanuola Tusani T - Ah Tong 19 September 2023, 6:00PM

A stalemate within the Sagaga No. 3 District Council Committee, which delayed access to the SAT$1 million district development grant, has been resolved and culminated with the approval of the first funding portion.

The signing for the first portion of the grant was held on Tuesday with representatives of the constituency who gathered at the Tooa Salamasina Hall on Tuesday to witness the disbursement of their first $150,000 development fund. 

The Sagaga No. 3 constituency covers the villages of Leauvaa, Aleisa Sasae and Aleisa Sisifo and its Member of Parliament is Sala Fata Pinati. 

The outgoing Minister of Finance, Mulipola Anarosa Ale–Molioo said the delay in the disbursement of funds for the district was due to internal issues such as the differences between Leauvaa and Aleisa. 

She said the Ministry of Women, Community, and Social Development (M.W.C.S.D.) has various attempts to resolve the issue and on 18 July 2023 a meeting was finally held between the villages and staff from the Ministry.

During the meeting, Mulipola said the parties expressed their views and the Ministry also appealed to those present for a way forward. She acknowledged the villages for resolving their differences and maintained that "there is no problem that has no solution". 

The Minister also acknowledged that the Samoan way of finding a solution to problems is through dialogue and congratulated the district for signing the first portion of their SAT$1 million grant. 

A committee member of the district said the delay in the disbursement of their funds was over the membership of the District Council Committee. The dispute led to the Ministry advising the district council to re-elect members of the committee in order to address concerns raised by Aleisa village. 

The initial membership of the District Council Committee had 10 representatives from Leauvaa and four from Aleisa using the ratio of voters from the villages and census. 

However, their differences over the membership of the District Council Committee led to changes in the number of representatives allocated for the villages. Consequently, Leauvaa now has eight members and Aleisa has six on the committee.  

A press statement issued by the M.W.C.S.D. confirmed that 48 districts have received the first portion of SAT$150,000 in funding and include Sagaga No. 3. The first 15 per cent of the $150,000 funding is allocated to administration costs for the District Council Committee which includes staff wages. 

By Matai'a Lanuola Tusani T - Ah Tong 19 September 2023, 6:00PM
Samoa Observer

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