Earlier today, Government opened four new roads in Savaii as part of ongoing infrastructure projects to provide inland access roads for communities across the country.
The infrastructure projects totalled $3 million tala and saw more than ten kilometres of road built for the villages of Sagone, Saleaula, Pu’apu’a and Salelavalu.
The opening addresses were delivered by Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, who lead a strong contingent of Parliamentarians from both sides of the floor, at the official ceremonies in each village.
“The roads we open today are part of Government’s ongoing infrastructure development plans.
“These roads are for your communities and families to use so you have easier access to inland areas for farming and tending to your plantations,” said the Prime Minister.
The access road at Sagone is 2.13km long and was built by Big Island Construction at a cost of $775,000 tala.
“This road represents great prospects for the future. It’s for your families to use so you have easier access inland for farming and tending your plantations.
“I only wish we could provide access roads for every village, but works are dependent on the budget and if that isn’t enough then Government has to look at other avenues to fulfill its infrastructure development agenda.
“I urge you to make the most of this road and use the easy access to develop your land for the benefit of your family.”
Built by Viko Construction, the new access road at Saleaula is 3.8km long and cost $760,000 tala.
The road is tar sealed up to 2km, which is the original length that was approved, but after the village requested for an extension to allow further access inland, Government – through the contractor – was able to extend the road an extra 1.8km (without tar) at no extra cost.
“Now that smaller vehicles can access much further inland, I hope your farmers will really take advantage of the opportunities now given with this road.
“After the request from your village, government was able to almost double the length of the road by extending an extra 1.8km. Fortunately there was no extra cost for this as the extra distance was not tarred. Of course it would have been preferable to tarseal the extra length, but that would mean utilising more of the budget and another village would miss out on an access road,” said Tuilaepa.
According to the Prime Minister, it is Government policy to tar all access roads as they last longer and can resist bad weather much more readily than dirt roads.
The access road at Pu’apu’a was built by ON & Sons Construction at a cost of $700,000 tala. The road measures 2.35km in length – and like the other three roads – is 6m wide with the road guttering (waterways).
Contractors spent four-and-a-half months building the road.
“This road has been delayed for a long time due to budgetary constraints. It would be good if Government could afford all the roads and other infrastructure projects that have been requested, but the reality is that it is impossible to satisfy the requests of villages which come through the 49 Members of Parliament. We just don’t have enough money all at once.
“But the developments continue, year after year, and although it’s slower than we would like, it’s important to note that Government doesn’t see infrastructure developments as short term goals – this program is not for one year, or just for one village, it’s for all of Samoa.
“I can’t say it enough – access roads like this one are here for you and your families to use so you can really develop yourselves through farming and plantations inland. Make the most of it.
The road at Salelavalu was built by Apia Lua Limited, at a cost of $845,000 tala, and measures 2.5km long.
The works took 5 months to complete.
“Your road is now ready for you to use to work the land and develop your plantations.
“There is only one real way to measure any benefit your communities will gain from this road, and that is the produce you sell at Salelologa Market and also talo exports to New Zealand.
“There are too many people at Salelologa Market doing nothing, just sitting around playing pool or drinking ava and wasting time.
“I challenge you to fill the market with your produce and grow talo for export and make the most of the opportunities to generate income for the development of your families.”
The Prime Minister went on to say that in addition to infrastructure projects such as construction of seawalls, bridges and refurbishment of existing roads, Government has built 53 new roads since the start of the current Parliamentary term – 30 in Upolu, 23 in Savaii.