Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Environment, Fiame Naomi Mataafa; HRH Prince Haakon Magnus of Norway; Norway's Ambassador to the Pacific, Paul Gulleik Larsen; and Mayor of the village of Apia, Tuiletufuga Siaosi. Photo credit: UNDP/L.Lesa/2019.

The historic visit to Samoa by the Crown Prince of Norway included a stopover at the Vaisigano/Leone wall, which is part of the GEF-funded Economy-¬Wide Adaptation to Climate Change Project, as well as the Vaisigano Catchment Project, co-funded by the Green Climate Fund and the Government of Samoa, and supported by the United Nations Development Programme. 

This was one of only a few sites visited by HRH Prince Haakon Magnus during his brief visit to Samoa, his final stop in a Pacific tour which aimed at bolstering Norway’s relationship with Pacific island states. 

The Kingdom of Norway is the third largest contributor to the GCF, behind Sweden and Luxembourg, with $271 million US dollars already committed to the Fund.

The Green Climate Fund is a new global fund created to support the efforts of developing countries to respond to the challenge of climate change. GCF helps developing countries limit or reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change. It seeks to promote a paradigm shift to low-emission and climate-resilient development, taking into account the needs of nations that are particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts.

The VCP is Samoa’s largest climate change and disaster resilient project. Known officially as the Integrated Flood Management to Enhance Climate Resilience of the Vaisigano River Catchment Area in Samoa project, it is valued at USD$65 million, and is co-funded by the GCF, providing USD$57 million, and the Government of Samoa, contributing US$8 million. 

The VCP began in July 2017, continuing on from the EWACC Project, and it is designed to strengthen the adaptive capacity and reduce the exposure to climate risks of 31 vulnerable communities and villages, infrastructure and the built environment in the VRCA. 

An estimated 26,528 people will directly benefit from the VCP and 37,000 people will be indirect beneficiaries in the VRCA. 

The VCP has contributed to funding the implementation of the design, supervision and construction of some infrastructural works in the VRCA to date.  

Implementation of the riverwalls and floodwalls in the VRCA are coordinated and managed by the Ministry of Works Transport and Infrastructure, the lead Implementing Agency.  

These include the completed construction of the Extension of Segment 1 of the Riverwall in the VRCA between the Vaisigano and Leone bridges, and extension of 80 meters of floodwalls downstream of Leone bridge. The EWACC project funded the completion of 80 per cent of the Segment 1 Riverwall. 

The MWTI are reviewing and finalizing the Terms of Reference for tendering of the design and construction supervision services of flood mitigating structures along Segments 2, 3 and 4 upstream of Leone Bridge.

Site clearance and drainage construction works of the Apia Waterfront Project at a cost of NZ$525,000 have now been completed. 

The following infrastructural works are coordinated and managed by the Land Transport Authority, the lead Implementing Agency:

 SMEC has been contracted to undertake the feasibility study for flood-proofing of the Central Cross Island Road and has submitted the Final Inception Report as first contract deliverable, and the Survey Stage 1 completion report which is under review by the LTA and GCF-Project Management Unit.

 Beca International Consultants Ltd undertaking the engineering design and construction supervision services of the Lelata Bridge has completed the geotechnical investigations earlier in January using a temporary, imported drilling rig. Engineering design work is progressing as per implementation plan.

 The Stantec New Zealand contract started in March to review and update the Stormwater Masterplan, and design for the upgrade of drainages in the identified nine hazard areas is progressing according to the agreed implementation plan.

“The VCP has made steady progress in the first quarter of 2019 due to the collaborative efforts of all the IAs and responsible parties in implementing and delivery of the approved 2019 VCP annual work plan with the aim of achieving the project’s annual targets in a timely and efficient manner. Project momentum is picking up pace in the second quarter with some important procurement actions being undertaken using national implementation systems and processes as envisaged in the project design and approved Project Document,” said Pisaina Leilua-Lei Sam, GCF VCP Project Manager. 

The Norwegian Prince’s visit to the Vaisigano Project is in line with his kingdom’s focus on the environment and climate change. 




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