The Human Rights Protection Party

What is Good for Apia is also good for Savaii!
"O le mea e lelei i Apia, e lelei foi mo Savaii"

Jul 19

Water Day opens at Togitogiga

Ensuring food and water security

Ensuring food and water security was the strong message this morning the country commemorated World Water Day at Togitogiga Thursday morning.

Delivering the keynote address, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Maalielegaoi pointed out thirty years ago no –ne ever thought Samoa would ever have any acute water problems.

“No one in their wildest dreams ever thought we would be buying water bottles from the shop. Today, bottled water is major local industry.

“Because water was so abundant then and people took it for granted. Thanks to deforestation and the impact of a changing climate, rivers and streams that used to flow throughout the year now barely registers running water for a few months. Flash floods are now very common because the hillsides and river banks are being shunned of trees to make way for plantations.

“This is a very selfish practice. People clearing the riverbanks for their own personal gain without a thought for those downstream and the impact it will have on our water resources.

“Water and food security are one of the same. We need water to irrigate our plantations, to sustain our cattle and poultry farms, our piggeries and fruit trees.”

The Prime Minister also issued a stern warning to farmers who are irresponsibly using paraquat and other poisonous chemicals in their plantations.

“These chemicals get into the ground, find their way into the streams and our washed down to the sea. They not only poison the water intake but also kill the reefs and severely affect our fish and marine catches. If these irresponsible acts continue, government will ban the import of these chemicals at some point.”

Yesterday’s programme concluded with the planting of native trees and fruit trees at Togitoga farm where the ceremony was held.”

Author: Tupuola Terry Tavita of Savali
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