Partnerships for a resilient and inclusive development of Samoa; Faleū wharf reconstruction.Apr 16, 2018
The village wharf at Faleū had survived through many natural disasters and extreme weather events. In the past five years alone, the wharf got damaged from the 2009 tsunami and then, from Cyclone Evan in 2012, to the point that it became non-operational and isolating their population.
“We are suffering from very low tides that creates access difficulties specially for the elders and children” comments Mr Lesa Komeniko, village Matai at Faleū in an interview with the Adaptation Fund communication officer while adding “Since I was a young man, climate change has changed the life on the island, with more frequent extreme weather and heavy erosion to our property”.
The need for a new wharf was identified as a priority in the Community Integrated Management Plans (CIMP’s) of Faleū Tai, to improve interisland transportation, security and access to services. The CIM Plans are a genuine partnership between villages and the government in the integrated management of Infrastructure, Natural Environment and Resources; Livelihoods and Food security; and Village Governance. A consultative and participatory process where communities prioritise their own development needs under government facilitation and expertise, ensuring the active participation of women, youth and untitled men to achieve the greatest ownership.
CSSP, the Civil Society Support Programme participates in the implementation of the CIM Plans with a Small Grant Programme that contributed $50.000 WST from the Adaptation Fund, thanks to the Enhancing Resilience to Climate Change project implemented by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and supported by the United Nations Development Programme.
Since the total cost to re-build the wharf was for a total of $226,436 WST, the community fundraised under a novel partnership between The Mormon Welfare Society, $25,000; Samoa Ports Authority, $50,000; Government of Canada (Canada Fund), $62,723; the Government of New Zealand (High Commission), $25,000, and the private sector that contributed with $1,000 thanks to Hamrock Construction.
“The most important donation always comes from the village, as a requirement to get funded by CSSP as this guarantees a high level of ownership by the village” comments Theresa Masoe-Taimalelagi, Programme Manager at CSSP, and on this occasion, Faleū Manono generously contributed with a total of $12,713.
“It was very slippery!” screamed the young Ms Aniva Clarke while explaining how climate change and king tides has affected the village “well, because there is much more water, tides start getting much bigger”.
She is happy about the new development because “It will help the village have better transportation and they won’t slip on the new jetty!”
The reconstruction of the wharf included a 22 meters’ jetty of concrete to replace the previous wood and stones with the purpose to build a strong and resilient wharf that ensures the safety of travellers and enables the people of Faleū, Manono to adapt to impacts of climate change
“The rising sea levels are eating up the land in Manono…and there is concern we have to protect whatever land we have on Manono” stated Ms. Leiataualesa Kilali Alailima, Project Manager of the Faleū Village Development Committee, while pointing to a shattered solar “this house used to be for the Women Committee but was destroyed after cyclone Evan”
According to Ms Alailima, the project makes the wharf a lot safer. “The previous wharf was completely gone and people had to climb over the rocks to get to the island which is not easy for women, children, disabled and the elderly”.
“More frequent rains and more severe weather affects children who have to commute from the jetty. School absenteeism was becoming an issue and that is why the project also built a safe pavilion so that children can stay dry and safe while waiting for the boat” while adding that “Also fishermen claim it is harder to find good weather to go fishing, and that has obviously impacted the economy. That is why we are looking at tourism as another revenue income”.
She went on to state, “Now we are looking at funding opportunities to improve our resilience to better sustain our lifestyle. This new wharf will definitely help us bring more tourists, and we are very grateful for that”.