Minister rubbish claims government did not promptly respond to the flash floods


Minister of Works Transport and Infrastructure has rubbished claims that the Government did not promptly respond to the flash floods last Thursday. Olo cited the need to clarify some inaccuracies presented in the article and emphasize the need for responsible journalism when disseminating information to the public.

Contrary to what has been reported, the government agencies, specifically those within the Transport and Infrastructure sector, acted swiftly and responsibly in response to this natural disaster.

In a letter to the Samoa Observer, the Minister said teams from the Land Transport Authority (LTA) were dispatched immediately around the big island to assess the situation of road safety and accessibility during heavy downpours and alert the public through its Facebook pages about areas they ought to avoid and those safe to access.

As soon as the water started to recede, multiple teams from the Electric Power Corporation (EPC) and the Samoa Water Authority (SWA) and LTA visited affected areas to assess the damage, assemble needed resources and commence repairs to ensure families were connected to clean water and electricity as soon as possible.

At the same time, the LTA staff and contractors had started building temporary road access for completely disconnected areas and repairing dismantled roads.

He said evidence of these actions was publicised publicly on social media the infrastructure sector teams worked tirelessly until 3 am Thursday, risking their safety, to reconnect these essential services for our people.

The very next day, Friday, June 9th 2023, a majority of the affected areas had been reconnected to water and electricity and temporary access roads had been completed to ensure accessibility of the travelling public. 

He said the circulation of misinformation can have adverse effects on public perception and trust in both government institutions and news organizations and the Minister concluded by acknowledging and commending the tireless work of the Chief Executive Officers of the

Transport and Infrastructure Sector, respective Managements and staff for their timely and effective actions last week.