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Climate Change: Infrastructure projects not only good for economy

Gov. Lemanu Peleti Mauga

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Governor Lemanu Peleti Mauga says repairing and improving the territory’s infrastructure will not only enhance economic stability, it will also go toward countering climate change in the territory.

 “Infrastructure improvements enhance our economic stability. The improved road conditions, sea wall protection projects, and uplifting recreational areas are a testament that your government is committed to serving its citizens.

These projects enable businesses to operate efficiently, connect workers to their jobs, allow emergency responders to move efficiently, and protect the territory from the increasing risk of natural disasters.”

The Governor’s prepared English speech was distributed during the opening of the Fono session this week.

He also acknowledged the Government and the private sector for their “hard work” in line with the Infrastructure improvements.

Regarding the development of Lions Park and the Turtle and Shark Lookout, Lemanu said these recreational areas and outdoor sports facilities will be utilized and enjoyed by families and organizations all year round.

 “The threat of climate change can be seen in the erosion of our seawalls, rising sea levels, and the sinking of our islands and we must act today to ensure our children will be able to enjoy the legacy of their ancestors.

 “Our policies and actions must reinforce our resiliency efforts today and for the future.”

He said efforts to increase the renewable energy production to reduce utility costs and pollution for residents and businesses is an important component of the plans to address climate change and alleviate the economic burdens facing families.

Adding that the realities of the global impact of inflation and supply chain issues continue to impact every household in the territory.

 “We are exploring all options to provide immediate relief and long-term solutions to these challenges. As we experience reopening our air and sea ports, American Samoa is awaiting the Post COVID-19 travel boom.

 “The territory must be prepared and ensure we have the capacity to host the influx of travelers, ensure all travelers follow local safety protocols, and are ready for a possible surge in COVID-19 cases.”

The Governor also addressed the Constitutional Convention, calling it a highly anticipated event.

 “It presents a grand opportunity that comes around every 10-15 years to exercise our right as citizens to help reinforce our political framework.”

The convention will convene August 29 to September 2, 2022, where a total of 129 delegates will be selected by County Councils and submitted by August 8 to the Office of Political Status, Constitutional Review, and Federal Relations.

 “This assembly of delegates will initiate discussions integral for constitutional changes necessary to propel our Territory forward and secure our place as a US entity and a Pacific nation.”

The Governor also commended the Fono for its strong partnership and the working relationship they have fostered since the onset of the administration.

 “The advancement of our Territory and the prosperity of our people have been entrusted to us, elected leaders.

 “Let us not squander the trust our people have placed in us, and forge ahead with the will and the courage to always do what is right and what is just. The Lieutenant Governor and I look forward to leaning on you all for your wisdom and perspective on the social, political, and economic future of our Territory,” he told the gathered lawmakers.