22 Jun 2010

Samoa NGOs lobby for village over hydropower plant concerns

8:04 pm on 22 June 2010

Samoa NGOs have agreed to lobby for a local village that claims a government hydropower plant is damaging the environment and affecting the livelihood of villagers.

The Ta'elefaga Fagaloa village on Upolu's north eastern coast asked the environment organisation, O le Siosiomaga society, to help address the village's environmental problems.

It has asked the US embassy for an independent impact assessment report on the hydropower plant and the Samoa Umbrella for NGOs has agreed to lobby on the villages behalf.

The president of SUNGO, Va'asili Moelagi Jackson, says vegetation is poor, and the villagers can't fish, or even swim in their lagoon.

"It's causing a lot of damage to the whole environment, especially the coast-line and the fishing and at low tide, the garbage, the rotten trees that is washed down to the ocean and into the lagoon so there is no fishing for the people. And when it's low-tide it's almost un-liveable for the poor people, you know the smell, it's unbearable."

Va'asili Moelagi Jackson says SUNGO says it's warning other villages that an enviornmental impact assessment must be done before any agreements are entered into.