31 Mar 2008

Villagers in Samoa discuss relocating from mangrove area in Apia

6:02 am on 31 March 2008

People in the village of Sogi in Samoa have appointed a lawyer to take up negotiations on their behalf with the government over a proposal to relocate.

The government has given more than 30 families living in the village of Sogi, in part of the urban area of the capital, Apia, 18 months to move as the land they are on is a mangrove area

Our correspondent says at first they rejected the government proposal.

But he says after villagers met the Environment Minister they were more willing to move if the cost of the quarter acre land in Nu'u was cheaper, and they were compensated.

But our correspondent in Apia, Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia says Sogi villagers are being told they still have options.

"Yes. The church minister was saying if everything and a compromise can be reached in negotiations between their lawyer and the government, then the whole village can be relocated. But if not they can look at the possibility of taking the matter further to court."