Link: Pacific Islands Report
Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i


Town Planning Contributing To Floods In Samoa
Expert says continued building in Apia blocking drainage

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Jan. 30, 2013) – The former president of the South Pacific Engineers Association, Leiataua Tom Tinai, says continuing to allow people to build in Apia, is contributing to frequent flooding.

Cyclone Evan left parts of Samoa’s capital underwater in December, and a tropical depression earlier this month caused more damage.

Leiataua, who is a civil engineer based in Apia, says the city is susceptible to flooding because it is so flat and says town planning is an important issue which needs to be urgently reviewed.

"As soon as people start developing their backyards they tend to block the natural drains, you tend to have blockage in the system. Because of further development most of the ground surfaces are now sealed, the surface is almost impermeable; these are the sorts of things that happen in any development especially in the CBD areas."

Leiataua Tom Tinai says the long-term solution involves either lifting the whole township higher or relocation.

He says all the relevant government ministries need to work together with the Planning and Urban Management Authority to co-ordinate a uniform approach to planning.

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com
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