Development Projects in Samoa Focused on Disaster Preparedness


SEATTLE — The island nation of Samoa is located in the south Pacific Ocean, between Hawaii and New Zealand. Because of its location, Samoa has historically been victim to tropical storms, hurricanes and frequent flooding. The government and other organizations have been trying to modernize the country and make it more climate change resilient with these development projects in Samoa.[hr_invisible]

Samoa City Development Strategy by UN-Habitat

This infrastructural development projects in Samoa is conducted by UN-Habitat, alongside the Samoan government, which is using its City Development Strategy (CDS) to address concerns in Samoa’s economy, society, infrastructure and environment. However, the program focuses mainly on climate change and issues involving poor urban management.

The CDS works to create more livable and sustainable towns by solving the environmental challenges that come from the lack of physical infrastructure in towns, including poor water quality, community drainage and sanitation.

It includes the following five components:

  1. Assessment and analysis
  2. Supporting investment in infrastructure
  3. Institutional strengthening
  4. Policy learning
  5. Evaluation

So far, the project has been incredibly successful, leading to a more sustainable and inclusive city, a boost in sustainable productivity and a decrease in climate change vulnerability.[hr_invisible]

Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI) by the Asian Development Bank

Since 2007, PSDI has been modernizing business laws, economically empowering women and developing better financial services in Samoa. PSDI works to remove business constraints in the Pacific by creating entrepreneurship, new business models and removing barriers that affect women’s presence in the business field.

PDSI has five focus areas:

  1. Financing growth
  2. Business law reform
  3. State-owned enterprise reform
  4. Advancing the economic empowerment of women
  5. Competition policy and consumer protection

Over the next few years, PSDI will continue to set Pacific countries like Samoa on a path to inclusive economic growth. PDSI is one of two development projects in Samoa that focuses on gender inclusiveness.[hr_invisible]

Water Resilience Efforts by the Samoa Central Government and the Ministry of Finance

The majority of the Samoan population resides in low-lying coastal areas that are prone to flooding. With climate change comes more frequent tropical storms, rising sea levels and rainfall variability, leaving almost 30 percent of the population at risk.

To combat this problem, the government of Samoa, alongside the Green Climate Plan and funded by the Ministry of Finance, has created a program to improve the management of climate change-induced flooding.

The program focuses on the following key areas:

  1. Floodproofing local infrastructure
  2. Establishing a system to track flood-related health issues
  3. Enforce better building practices
  4. Expand early warning systems

The Samoan government has made this program a priority, emphasizing education, awareness and proper planning, in hope that its success will benefit the entire population, and not only those who are at risk.[hr_invisible]

Enhancing the Climate Resilience of the West Coast Road Project by the World Bank

Most roads in Samoa are only about three feet above sea level, making flooding and erosion a huge problem for local communities. This development project in Samoa was started by the World Bank in collaboration with the government of Samoa, who created the West Coast Road Project to improve the resilience of the West Coast Road (WCR) and develop more climate-resilient roads overall.

The project has three components:

  1. Improving climate resiliency of the WCR
  2. Vulnerability assessment of the road networks in Samoa
  3. Project management and operating costs

Its main goals are to teach workers how to make roads more resilient and to create resources for officials to use that would help them be involved in the process. The project is set to close on August 31, 2018.[hr_invisible]

Samoa Agriculture Competitiveness Enhancement Project by the World Bank

This development project in Samoa, titled the Agriculture Competitiveness Enhancement Project, was created to help fruit and vegetable growers and livestock producers increase their productivity and better understand the market.

The program consists of three components. The first is livestock production and marketing, which encourages livestock producers to invest in farm advancements, exercise improved health practices and improve the quality of meat that is sold in markets.

The second is fruit and vegetable production and marketing, which allows fruit and vegetable growers access to higher yielding varieties, use more advanced production techniques and increase productivity. Overall, this component looks to meet local retailers’ demands and strengthen fruit and vegetable growers’ presence in the market.

The third and final component of the project is institutional strengthening, which works to improve the effectiveness of both government and non-government agricultural institutions. So far, the project has had tremendous success, resulting in new cattle breeds and training for farmers to upgrade their pastures and increase their herds. The project is set to close on December 31, 2018.

These development projects in Samoa supporting climate change resilience, gender inclusiveness and increased productivity undoubtedly prove that Samoa is on the path to success.

– Chylene Babb

Photo: Flickr


About Author

Chylene Babb

Chylene writes for The Borgen Project from Crofton, MD. Her academic interests include media and communications and she has always had a passion for writing and using it to help those in need. Chylene's life goal is to unite people by connecting their cultures.

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