SAMOAN VILLAGE WANTS COMPENSATION FOR LOUD, DIRTY POWER GENERATOR

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By Terry Tavita

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, July 12) - Tanugamanono village has sought redress from the Electric Power Corporation (EPC) over excessive noise pollution and gaseous fumes from the power station located there.

The village recently complained that "ear-splitting noise" from the station’s generators has become a health hazard to those living nearby.

They said that some have been diagnosed with ear problems and recurring migraines. Loud noise, they said, also disrupts daily life and especially children’s schoolwork.

Black fumes emitting from the four large generators when it is turned on at night, they said, made people nauseous.

According to village mayor Anauli Pofitu, the village council has met with EPC general manager Muaausa Joseph Walters and senior management staff.

"The village has requested that they be provided with some monetary compensation," Anauli said.

"We have also asked EPC for concessionary benefits such as free electricity for the whole village."

Anauli said that they were told by EPC to give them two weeks to discuss the matter at the board level.

That decision is expected this week, he said.

Anauli revealed that EPC offered to buy all the land that was bordering the station.

"But we turned it down as all that land is customary owned and belong to the Sa Atoa family of Tanugamanono.

"The land they were asking for amounted to half the village."

Anauli said that EPC had requested they be given time to ‘think through’ the request as any special deal might upset other villages where power stations are located.

"This power station was built in 1966 and our people have been suffering for a long time with the loud noise and fumes that it emits."

"Nearly 40 years and much longer than any power station built in any village."

"The problem has been raised several times in the past decade."

A handful of families neighboring the station had been at the forefront of the issue, Anauli said.

"But now the matter has been taken up at the village level following a request by these families."

July 16, 2004

Samoa Observer: www.samoaobserver.ws/

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