MNRE Building Resilience Against Climate Change Impact

Lalomauga Embankment Wall, MNRE’s Response to Critically Affected Residents from Impact of Climate Change

Chief Executive Officer for the Ministry of Natural Resource and Environment, Ulu Bismarck Crawley. (photo by MNRE)

The “Embankment Rock Wall” launched during the week, was the response by Government through MNRE to ensuring the people of Lalomauga are safe and protected from the impact of Climate Change.

The area highlighted from the risks assessment survey undertaken by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE) through the Disaster Management Office (DMO), showed livelihoods critically affected by natural disasters.

The Chief Executive Officer for the Ministry of Natural Resource and Environment, Ulu Bismarck Crawley highlighted the challenges and why the wall is essential to instilling hope and positive thoughts back to the lives of the people residing in the area.

“Some of the challenges which the communities faced prior to having this wall constructed was loss of livelihoods, having their cash crops planted near rivers completely wiped out, which affected their source of income and for family consumption. Another challenge Lalomauga residents were facing was having their properties, their houses and lives being affected, and living with fear every time heavy rainfall occurs”, the Chief Executive Officer, Ulu Bismarck Crawley pointed out.

“As of today, having the wall constructed, residents can sleep without fear of having their lives being affected by the river floods encroaching onto their lands.”

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the Ministry of Natural Resource and Environment, Fiame Naomi Mataafa declaring Lalomauga Embankment Wall open. (photo by MNRE)

“The “Rock Wall” has assisted in reducing the risk of flooding and riverbank erosion impacting on Lalomauga residents residing along the river banks. In previous cyclones and recent Cyclone Gita, it was confirmed from DMO risk assessments that Lalomauga residents suffered enormous floods, affecting lives, homes and properties”, he added.

Mr Crawley also highlighted implementation benefits of the “Embankment Rock Wall” project, drawing more attention to better planning in regards to disaster response plans by the communities of Lalomauga saying “Some of the benefits of the Rockwall project include minimizing flood impacts faced by the Lalomauga communities, and also allows the Lalomauga community to implement existing village response plans when in times of disasters such as flood and cyclone.”

The project continues to demonstrate the Government’s commitment towards the Strategy for the Development of Samoa (SDS) 2016/17-2019/20 document, under the environment priority area with outcomes in Climate Change Resilience. [Priority Area 4: – Key Outcome 14: Climate and Disaster Resilience]

The Chief Executive Officer conveyed appreciations of the effort and support in completing the project to all involved.

“The Ministry would like to acknowledge the European Union for providing financial support through the Water and Sanitation Sector of MNRE, to build the Riverbank Protection Wall. In addition, the Ministry would also like to applaud the Apia Lua construction for the construction works which began late November 2018 and completed June 2019 as well as the Tinai, Gordon & Associates for designing and supervision of the works.”

The project process begun back in 2017 which included the tender request and consultations carried out at the village level before construction phase could start.

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