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New faipule addresses road conditions in Tualauta

Flooding in Tualauta County

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Twenty-four hours after Rep. Larry Sanitoa was sworn into office, he quickly raised with the Department of Public Works the issue of “deplorable roads” in some areas of Tualauta County, brought to his attention by residents and other members of the public who frequent these roads.

Even before returning to the House, Sanitoa had worked behind the scenes, asking DPW for help to improve Tualauta roads — especially the Fagaima area, which suffers persistent flooding every time it rains.

In his latest communication with DPW officials on Jan. 4th, Sanitoa wrote: “On behalf of numerous residents” he is requesting Public Works’ “help with a backhoe or the grader machine to resurface/repair their terrible roads”.

In particular, two roads in the Kokoland area of Tafuna, which, according to how one resident puts it — "it seems that DPW repair/grade the roads right before it rains so they are only drivable for a few days.”

“I know the ideal situation would be to actually pave them but I know that is not an option right now,” said the resident, whose email letter to Sanitoa was also forwarded to DPW officials.

“There are also other concerns that we had tried to address in the past but were unsuccessful in getting our concerns heard,” the resident continued in the letter, which included a letter sent in June 2017 to the ASG Zoning Board, expressing “concerns regarding the unregulated fencing that would negatively impact the safe access of residents” in some areas of Kokoland and Fagaima.

The resident informed the Zoning Board that the roads in and around these areas are becoming more heavily used as the population grows, and residential construction in the area continues to increase.

“I am concerned that if vital services such as solid waste and emergency services such as fire and ambulance are hindered and unable to properly respond to life threatening emergencies such as a fire or a medical emergency that could result in the loss of life,” the resident wrote.

Besides the two Kokoland roads — which some residents have told Samoa News are “in deplorable condition” — Sanitoa also outlined in his email letter to DPW officials other roads in Tualauta in need of urgent help.

For example, the road behind the golf course; and the road behind the Pava'ia'i Catholic Church.