11 Jan 2013

Samoa PM ponders change forced by climate change

12:29 pm on 11 January 2013

Samoa's Prime Minister says the government has learned lessons from the devastation caused by tropical cyclone Evan.

The storm, responsible for the deaths of five people and the disappearance of 11 others, caused widespread damage on the main island of Upolu when it hit a month ago.

Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi says as the effects of climate change worsen, the regularity and severity of events like cyclone Evan will increase.

"It is not a good story for most of us in the islands. We need to put in place adaptation policies that are very central to our safety in the future, like moving people away from close proximity to the rivers. Away from the coast, into the hinterland."

Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi says Samoa also needs to look at crops that mature in three to six months, and have more planting of those crops.