13 Jan 2004

Samoan government approves immediate relief funds

4:42 pm on 13 January 2004

The Samoan government has approved supplementary immediate relief funds, totalling just over $US 2 million.

A government spokesman, Va'asitia Poloma Komiti, says it will be spent on areas of most need, like power, water, roads, hospitals and infrastructure.

He says only a few telephone lines are still down and roads under repair remain open.

Mr Komiti says they hope to restore power and water by the end of the week.

"Right now we're about at least 60% restored in terms of the coverage of the country electricity being supplied to. The other 40% of poles yet to be connected will take about a week, simply because of the more destructive nature of the cyclone on those infrastructure mostly on the rural outlying areas."

Mr Komiti says government is considering putting all power and phone lines underground.

He says while the cost of maintenance will be higher, it is likely to be more cost effective during national disasters.