Samoa and ADB to Build a Climate Resilient International Port

Photo: Government of Samoa.
Friday 13 August 2021 Apia Samoa — A groundbreaking ceremony was held on Friday afternoon to officially start the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Government of Samoa upgrading project of the country’s international port.

Prime Minister of Samoa Fiame Naomi Mataafa gave the keynote address at the event, also attended by Samoa’s Minister of Works, Transport, and Infrastructure Olo Fiti Vaai, other senior government officials and Dahlia Loibl from ADB’s Samoa Pacific Country Office.

Prime Minister Fiame acknowledged ADB for their support of the Enhancing Safety, Security and Sustainability of Apia Port Project (ESSSPP).

“This Project is made possible through a grant aid by one of Samoa’s friends and development partners; the Asian Development Bank at the value of USD$62.26 million with our Government contribution of USD$12.77 million which makes up the total value of the Project of USD$75.03 million…

“The Project will improve the efficiency, safety and environmental sustainability of the Apia Port, it will upgrade terminal infrastructure to enhance safety and capacity, strengthening the exiting breakwater to enhance resilience to climate change and severe storms and to construct a customs facility with a new container x-ray scanner to enable effective border management;

“The Project will also support gender-sensitive Green Port Initiatives to promote clean and sustainable port operations and management”, added the Prime Minister.

Minister for Works Transport and Infrastructure Olo Fiti Vaai with CEO of SPA Sooalo Kuresa Sooalo. 📷 Gvt of Samoa

The Minister responsible for Samoa’s infrastructure development, Olo Afoa Fiti Vaai said the Samoa government is delighted to partner with ADB in this transformational project.
“Now is the time to develop resilient infrastructure that can withstand extreme weather events and climate change,” said Minister Olo. 

“Apia Port is Samoa’s main maritime gateway, and this project will deliver a world-class port that is climate-proofed, safer, and more secure,” said Regional Director of ADB’s Pacific Subregional Office in Fiji Masayuki Tachiiri. “We highly appreciate that the project made steady progress to achieve this important milestone despite challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic and border closures”.

Samoa has historically suffered from disasters triggered by cyclones and earthquakes. The breakwater at the port is badly damaged. The project will rehabilitate and upgrade it to withstand a 100-year storm event and 50-year sea-level rise.

The redevelopment of the port will include a customs facility with a new container x-ray scanner to enable more effective border management.

Gender-responsive green port initiatives will be piloted to promote clean and sustainable port operations and management.

The project will also promote greater participation of women employees in undertaking technical and management roles to operationalize the green port initiatives and multi-hazard disaster preparedness plans. 

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.