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Over 2,000 streetlights were illegally installed last year

ASPA crew installing a new street light

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — It has come to light that over 2,000 streetlights were illegally installed in various villages around Tutuila last year by ASPA installation crews due to demands from high ranking people of these villages., according to a verbal report presented to the House during Wednesday’s session.

The verbal report was presented by Rep. Alumamalu Ale Filoiali’i, chair of the House American Samoa Power Authority (ASPA) Committee.

Alumamalu was responding to a complaint raised by Rep. Vailoata E. Amituana’i in the House about Fagaalu having no streetlights. Vailoata said he requested only 3 new streetlights for Faga’alu, after ASPA CEO Wallon Young testified during a house hearing last year, saying that over 6,000 new streetlights had been ordered by ASPA to replace all the old streetlights around the whole island.

Vailoata said that up until now, Faga’alu has never received a single new streetlight as promised by ASPA. And for that reason, he requested a hearing with the ASPA CEO to explain to his constituents the reason why Faga’alu didn’t received any new streetlights.

Alumamalu was able to meet up with ASPA officials regarding the matter where he was briefed about the situation.

He told House reps that according to a report from ASPA, there was a total of 5,500 old streetlights around Tutuila, Manu’a and Aunu’u that need to be replaced. Around August of last year, ASPA ordered and later received around 6,000 new streetlights and the plan was to replace old streetlights with news ones. However, that did not happen.

“According to a report from ASPA officials, as ASPA crews were on the road installing new streetlights in each village, Senators, Representatives and even family Sa’o of some villages approached them and instructed them to install extra streetlights to several locations that were not supposed to have a streetlight. As a result, some villages were unable to receive new streetlights because of the shortage,” the Chair of the House ASPA Committee told House reps.

According to Alumamalu, “over 2,000 streetlights were illegally installed” due to these demands. The good news, he said is that ASPA says there’s a new order for over 2,000 streetlights already placed for all the villages that missed the first installations.

Vailoata acknowledged the Chair’s quick response to his concerns, however, he was not satisfied with the response from ASPA because they were the ones who conducted the installation process and they should have also informed each village how the installation process runs.

(Samoa News understands to get a street light in a certain location on your property, a person has to apply for one, pay a fee for the light and then also be responsible for the power bill, if any.)

Vailoata further stated that those ASPA crew who conducted the illegal installations must face the consequences for their actions.