WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, Dec. 1) - The Asian Development Bank has approved an assistance package of more than US$8 million to improve drainage and sewage disposal in Samoa’s capital, Apia.

The money, most of which is a low-interest loan, will help finance the construction of a wastewater collection and treatment system for the central business area, improvements to individual sanitation systems, and the rehabilitation of floodways and drains around low-lying areas of the capital.

Nearshore marine water and urban stream water quality in Apia is polluted..

Most wastewater is presently treated in individual systems such as cesspools or septic tanks before being discharged into drainage channels, soil and groundwater.

The inadequate drainage system leads to frequent flooding with the foul water posing a serious health risk.

Businesses also suffer significant financial losses from the frequent flooding

The ADB says the total cost to improve almost 3,000 meters of floodways and 2,500 meters of drains will cost US$10 million and should be completed by the year 2008.

December 1, 2003

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