17 Mar 2004

Samoan prime minister says new hydro scheme is on track

6:28 pm on 17 March 2004

The Prime Minister of Samoa, Tuilaepa Sailele, says the planned construction of a new hydro scheme on Savaii, remains on schedule despite claims that it had been scrapped after opposition from the people of Sili village.

Environmentalist organisation, Va'asao Savaii Society, and a local chief, Fiu Tu'ipala, had said the villagers rejected the scheme of the impact it would have on the Sili river on which they rely for part of their food supply.

But the Prime Minister says the people complaining have been misinformed.

"They think that the building of the hydro will result in death to shrimps, river shrimps and other resources which of course is quite untrue. We have taken some of the villagers to see another big hydro where such resources are still in abundance."

Tuileapa says the scheme is quite large and may need the support of several funding agencies in addition to the ADB which initiated the project.