The United Nations Under Secretary for Economic and Social Affairs, Liu Zhenmin, had the opportunity to visit and inspect Samoa’s progress in its environment and climate change project sites on Monday.
Mr. Liu is in Samoa for the week-long Inter-Regional Preparatory Meeting for the Midterm Review of the Samoa Pathway currently in progress at the TATTE Building, Apia.
The Government of Samoa, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, with UNDP conducted the site visit to the Vaisigano River wall that is being constructed alongside the Vaisigano River.
Mr. Liu, according to a press statement, was deeply involved for 10 years in climate change negotiations, including the conclusion of the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement.
He also widely participated in the international activities on the protection of our planet, including our oceans and has been consistently highlighting and advocating for sustainable development issues that are evident in Small Island Developing States countries through national projects.
In Samoa, the Vaisigano River wall that is funded under the Vaisigano Catchment Project (V.C.P.) and E.W.A.C.C represents the Government’s initial steps in operationalising a comprehensive flood management solution to enhance climate resilience along the catchment.
The design and construction of the flood protection wall is envisaged to increase the resilience of the flood-affected communities and households along the area, which have been heavily impacted due to floods and cyclones as experienced with Cyclone Evan in 2012.
Approval for the construction of the wall on the left and right banks of the Vaisigano River was given by the Government to protect the local community from inundation during flood events of up to 1:20 year (annual exceedance period – AEP), said the statement.
It further stated that following on from community consultations and assessments, the construction of the climate resilient infrastructure foresees flood mitigation and protection of community assets and livelihoods within the greater Apia area.
Some of the major works visible to most of the public is the concrete river protection wall that can be seen from the Vaisigano Bridge that extends along the banks of Leone and Apia villages.
Further up the river in Lelata, the V.C.P. will be raising the bridge to accommodate larger volumes of floodwater and conducting channelisation of the river, which involves the deepening of the river bed, streamlining of the river banks and the installation of protective river walls.