Samoa Observer

APIA, Samoa (Oct. 1) – Listen up folks. Those of you living in suburban Apia with your water rationed at night are asked to be patient. This is only a temporary measure designed to save water.

Once the dry spell we’re passing through has gone, you’ll be back to your full supply pronto.

This assurance was made yesterday by Samoa Water Authority’s general manager, Moefa’auo Taputoa Titimaea,

Areas affected are Moamoa, Alafua, Se’ese’e and Sinamoga. Their supply is being rationed since the water at Fuluasou reservoir has run low. This allows the Se’ese’e intake enough water to supply neighbouring Pesega, Lotopa, Lepea and Tuana’imato.

Moefa’auo says water is rationed from 9 pm to 5 am. Once the water level at Fuluasou builds up, rationing will be lifted. The rest of Upolu is not affected.

As for the $62 million water supply project for Upolu funded by the European Union, Moefa’auo reveals it’s doing what it was designed for.

Stretching from Fuluasou along the west coast to Falelatai, the project was meant to vastly improve the quality of water and effectiveness of supply.

It involved the laying of a huge pipeline cutting through villages and farm lands further inland.

Later, compensations were paid for properties and crops cleared to make way for reticulation.

Designed to use bore holes with pumps to feed the pipeline during dry seasons, it has been supplying water all the way to Samatau, Falelatai, until now.

Today, the Fuluasou reservoir is able to supply only up to Faleula. So water pumps installed along the pipeline are now feeding it.

These pumps are installed at Faleula, Malie, Tuana’i, Saleimoa, Malua, Faleasi’u, Fasito’outa, Fasito’otai, Leulumoega, Olo at Mulifanua and Samatau.

Commenting on the EU project, Moefa’auo says he’s confident it’s serving its purpose well. However, he’s working on a "strategy" that could improve the storage capacity of the Fuluasou reservoir.

This requires feeding Fuluasou from an "intake" above it so that the reservoir is able to "sustain" its capacity. Moefa’auo says this is a project SWA would be working on sometime soon.

So there you are folks. What we thought was a serious problem of a watery nature has turned out to be not a problem at all.

Which means Apia’s so-called perennial water shortage will soon be a thing of the past. With the help of the European Union, our own SWA is set to work on solving any problem that may arise.

This water rationing however – albeit hardly a serious concern any more - naturally reminds of a promise made by the government a few times in Parliament.

Inspired by those unforgettable food and petrol rationings of 1981, the government announced that rationing would not happen ever again in this country.

Well, there hasn’t been any food or petrol rationing for some years, but some water rationing is still being carried out.

Around 9 pm every evening, reticulation is shut down and faucets in some homes stop running.

Five or thereabouts the next morning, the faucets gurgle to life noisily waking you up.

Why the night is chosen seems logical enough. It’s when we’re all supposed to be asleep, so our dependence on water is nil.

Wait a second. What about the few struggling with malfunctioning bladders who’ll need to pay old john a few visits before the night is over.

Or a couple suffering acute tummy ache necessitating a few zigzagging trips to old john? Don’t they deserve a bit of hard flushing when the painful job’s done?

But never mind. I suppose we should all accept democracy as a painful process anyway. Something special we should all pay a bit of sacrifice for.

That’s right folks. We’ve got to keep reminding ourselves that 42 years of political independence is hardly enough time to get democracy properly erected.

Indeed, it has to stand solidly tall to withstand the tests of time.

We’ve started with tall buildings, hotels, roads, sports complexes.

Perhaps a hundred years from now everyone’ll be remembering water rationing in Apia with faint amusement. Meantime, we should be patient, and learn to shut up as we wait.

But then staying quiet about something as amusingly bizarre as water rationing can become pretty vexing sometime.

So is the $62 million water project producing good results? Yes, it is, thanks to GM Moefa’auo and his hardworking team at SWA.

They have to keep in mind though that we’re in the middle of a drought with the sun threatening to suck the earth dry, and the sky is refusing to shower us with rain.

We’re aware that SAW cannot milk water from unyielding clouds, but at least they’re telling us they’ve got a "strategy" to put in place should the present dry spell persist.

Besides, Moefa’auo has promised another "strategy" designed to make things easier for everyone on White Sunday up ahead.

He’s given instructions that SWA’s two water trucks shall work non-stop throughout White Sunday. So contact SWA now and put your name on the list.

In any case, Moefa’auo will not be here then. He’ll be in Christchurch attending a Water Expo there. Have a good Expo, Moefa’auo.

October 5, 2004

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