Govt. to claim 22 acres of Mt. Vaea
The Samoan Government is moving to claim 22 acres on Mt Vaea under the provisions of the Land Taking Act, a cabinet directive has revealed.
The Government's plans are outlined in a Cabinet Directive (Fa’atonuga Kapeneta) F.K. (20) 1 dated 8 January, 2020.
“On its meeting on Wednesday 8 January, 2020 Cabinet endorsed the Cabinet submission and approved the Government taking 22 acres of the Marist Land on Mt Vaea for reserve of water and this is in addition to the seven acres taken before,” says an excerpted copy of the F.K. that was obtained by the Samoa Observer.
The Chief Executive Officer for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Ulu BIsmarck Crawley, confirmed the land would be used for public purposes.
About seven acres will be reserved for a plan to build a new light house project resembling the Cross of Jesus Christ that will be visible from Apia City and its peripheries, first revealed by the Prime Minister during his new year address.
The remainder will be used for expanded public water utilities infrastructure.
“Of course, this land will be taken under the Land Taking Act for public purpose," he said.
But Ulu said the land in question belongs to the Marist Fathers and therefore approval has to come from the Vatican in Rome.
“There’s 22 acres and that is for the reserved area for water however this included the seven acres for the cross," he said.
Ulu said the project is to be managed by the Prime Minister’s Office.
The portion of Mount Vaea reserved for for the light house is an elevated section of land on the eastern side of the mountain. The new location of the lighthouse to replace the current installation which is stationed at a lower point of the Mountain.
The Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi, expanded on the purpose of the lighthouse during an address to the nation over the new year.
“The Cross will guide all journeys at sea including fishermen when they enter the shores of our country," he said.
“Named as the Apia City lookout – the way of the Cross - the place will be used for peaceful meditation in the Word of God, and for families and visitors travelling to Samoa to view the landscape of Apia City during the day and at night," the Prime Minister said.
“Above all the Cross symbolises our commitment and faith in God, whom Samoa is founded upon."
Ulu confirmed with the Samoa Observer, the taken land will be exchanged for compensation but was unable to cite a projected cost for the project when questioned.
“I’m not sure about that," he said.