13 Jul 2016

Samoan villages to benefit from climate change grant

6:55 am on 13 July 2016

120 Samoan villages will be shown capacity building skills for climate change as part of a 242 thousand US dollar grant awarded to Samoa's umbrella group for non governmental organisations, SUNGO.

The group said the funds would be used for a two year training programme.

The grant from the US Agency for International Development was launched on Monday.

SUNGO president, Roina Vavatau, said 50 percent of Samoans live around the coastline and they lived off the sea or land.

Black sand beach in Apia

Black sand beach in Apia Photo: RNZI/ Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

She said they must be well trained on whatever consequences and impacts they will face in the future.

"We need to take action to try and minimise the vulnerability of our people," she said.

"Some days we might go out, there is nothing to eat, more water drying up, what are we going to do? So it's good that we have to raise the awareness. We have to take appropriate action, not to be reactive but be proactive. Let's do something now rather than wait till we find our wells all dried up."

The US Ambassador for Samoa, Mark Gilbert, said the new grant would complement three existing USAID climate change adaptation grants.