Eight months after a massive landslide cut off the road access at Tuialamu, Saleapaga the Government is yet to start work to clear the debris and fix the road.
Motorists driving to Lalomanu Beach are currently using a temporary access, which was created by authorities closer to the seashore and further away from the high risk area, following the landslide in February this year. Authorities believe the landslide was triggered by heavy rain following Cyclone Gita.
Work to clear the landslide began in February but the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (M.N.R.E.) issued a stop order back then, and there has been no progress to date. This is despite a geotechnical assessment, which was funded by the New Zealand government, being done at different locations around the landslide to determine the risks to the public and the options available to restore access on the highway.
The Weekend Samoan approached the M.N.R.E. for an update, and was advised by the Ministry’s Chief Executive Officer Ulu Bismark Crawley, that it is up to the Land Transport Authority (L.T.A.).
“The matter is with them (L.T.A.) now we did our assessment and our work is done,” he said.
The Ministry recommended back then that a temporary road access is created next to the seashore after the landslide, which Ulu indicated was just temporary.
L.T.A. Chief Executive Officer, Galumalemana Titi Tutuvanu-Schwalger, has not responded to questions sent to her in relation to this issue.
The New Zealand Government-funded geotechnical assessment was done by global engineering, architecture, environmental and construction firm G.H.D. Limited. Assessments were done at that time in seven different locations: the Leusoalii to Lauli’i landslide, Luatuanu’u and Solosolo, Eva road damage, Falefa road damage, Lalomanu rock fall, Tuiolemu landslide and Lalomanu-Tuiolemu landslide.