How many more millions will this country continue to waste?

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Mata'afa Keni Lesa

This much is true. You know Christmas is near when the wet season arrives and everything else it brings – including those potholes. Everywhere.

Indeed, it’s that time of the year once more when thousands of Samoans return for the holidays only to be greeted by those gaping potholes as soon as they exit the wonderful Chinese-funded airport at Faleolo.

Don’t get us wrong; the arrival of long periods of rain is a wonderful thing. For many people without a steady supply of water – and there are many of them in Samoa - the rain is surely an answer to prayers. 

Which is precisely what has been happening for the past couple of weeks.

We’ve been blessed with heavy downpours that as of today, the sun scorched earth should now be thoroughly quenched so that it continues to give life to everything that depends on it. 

But there is also another side of the rain we dread on these shores. That is it exposes those poor roads and brings out the nasty and unwanted potholes. We see it every year. 

Today, apart from a few obvious roads which have been constructed properly, most places you go in Samoa, these potholes confront you. You hear the rattling tyres, the suspensions screaming out, you see traffic being brought to a standstill as drivers try to negotiate their way through them. 

What’s worse is that it appears that with the exception of a few road-making companies, the rest of the roads in Samoa are the same. 

Which begs the question we always ask at this time of the year, why have we not been able to do anything about this problem? We are talking in 2018 here folks. Yes this is a country that has embraced 4G technology and pushing to be the internet hub of the Pacific and yet some of our roads look and feel like third world country roads. Which is a pity, isn’t it?

Imagine welcoming visitors to Samoa, bringing them from the airport when you are trying to tell them the best of Samoa and all they can ever see are potholes and vehicles dodging them they almost run into you? 

That is quite common and very sad to be quite frank.

Folks, these are not new questions but we must continue to ask them because this is what you, our dear readers, want answered. Where have all the millions that the government has allocated for such infrastructure gone to? Who is responsible for these roads? And who is supposed to monitor their work? 

If the work is not being monitored – and the culprits held to account – what is the government doing about it? If the relevant authorities are not dealing with it, why should we waste taxpayers’ money paying them?

Here is a fact. These bad roads are costing motorists and members of the public their hard-earned tala in repairs, on top of annual – sometimes twice a year – registrations. Think of the suspensions, tyres and all the mechanical problems caused by the bad roads. And think of the safety issues and cost in terms of time and money when people are late to work and other commitments.

The point is that after all these years; you’d think some things would change by now. And yet we see the same thing over and over again. 

How long must we put up with this.  The point is that the potholes are the ultimate sign of poor work and planning that are openly exposed by the weather and the elements. How many millions are we going to waste before something is done?

Here is hoping that we will not be asking the same questions this time next year. But then again, with the General Election in a couple of years, there would probably be no need to. It’s a time when the Government fixes all the roads – including roads that lead to nowhere. 

Stay tuned!

© Samoa Observer 2016

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