31 Jan 2013

Engineer says relocation long-term solution to Apia's flooding woes

9:03 am on 31 January 2013

The former president of the South Pacific Engineers Association Leiataua Tom Tinai says relocation could be the only real long-term solution to frequent flooding in Samoa's capital.

Cyclone Evan left parts of Apia underwater in December, and a tropical depression earlier this month caused more damage.

Leiataua, a civil engineer based in Apia, says the city is susceptible to flooding because it is so flat and says town planning is an important issue which needs to be urgently reviewed.

He says the most reliable long term fix is to either lift the whole township higher or relocation.

"I know that there's going to be a very expensive cost involved and the social impact is going to be tremendous but there's a need for educating the public to make people understand as to the effect of this flooding, it can cause a lot of pain and a lot of stress to their lives."

Leiataua Tom Tinai says all the relevant government ministries need to work together with the Planning and Urban Management Authority to co-ordinate a uniform approach to urban planning.