8 May 2008

New legislation in Samoa could see govt own all rivers and streams

10:38 am on 8 May 2008

In Samoa, villages which own the rivers and streams in their village boundary could be stripped of their authorities on such natural resources if a government bill is passed.

The management resource bill from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is now before a parliamentary committee for a final review and consideration.

Parliament passed the second reading of the legislation which aims to protect all water resources in the country.

However the bill according to government MP, Tuiloma Lameko, would allow the government to operate the long overdue hydropower project in Savaii Island using water resources in the village of Sili.

The village last year had rejected the hydro project and banned all government activities relating to the power plant on their land.

But the proposed legislation could benefit some villages that have been facing water supply problems in many years.

It will give power to the government's water authority to improve water services for people and to stop villages from blocking fresh water supply from their rivers to other neighboring villages.