The Government of Samoa today announced a move to allocate street names and addresses in a major project that involves a taskforce of 12 Ministries.
The Taskforce is led by key Government Ministries including the Ministry of Works, Transport and Infrastructure (MWTI), Ministry of Prime Minister and Cabinet (MPMC), Ministry of Environment amd Natural Resources (MNRE) and the Ministry of Finance.
The CEOs of these key Ministries attended a press conference this morning to highlight the importance behind the initiative.
“Samoa has seen changes on migration patterns and residential settlements over the last two decades. Northwest Upolu has become the fastest populated area, with the Apia urban centre’s landscape evolving rapidly with the establishment of new businesses and high rise buildings. These changes come with new challenges”.
The committee says one of the biggest challenges is the inability to find an address for a residence, business or a service provider.
“The need for proper registry of streets and residences addresses will assist to curb this problem. Clear and unambiguous street and residence addresses will enormously help locate a destination in real time”.
Samoa graduated from Least Developed Country status to a Mid-Income Level Country in 2014 and the initiative ensures that access and mobility keeps up with the rest of Samoa’s infrastructural development.
“Most developed nations including our neighbouring Pacific countries such as New Zealand, Australia and Fiji all have allocated street names and addresses for the mass”.
The committee members also highlighted the importance of finding the right address and pinpointing the right destination in a timely manner as an important element in saving a life or protecting a life.
“The essence of pinpointing and locating the right destination in a timely manner is an important component of efficient travels internally and internationally”.
“Migration global patterns confirm that the world has become very mobile”, they added.
According to the press release, advancement in transportation, infrastructure and technology has helped with urbanisation as people have been commuting from rural places to work in urban Apia and return to their homes.
“The importance of mobility must keep up with the development of a country”.
The establishment of street names and unique residential identities has been tagged as highly essential for Geographical Information System (GIS) required for current and future urban planning and infrastructural development.
Mapping surveillance, undertaking of national census, conducting of general elections, faster and responsive disaster relief operations and emergency responses when disasters strike have been listed as only some of the project’s benefits.
“Further, technology through the Global Positioning System (GPS) has made it so easy and convenient for global citizens to identify their destinations”.
“This would be ideal for tourists holidaying in Samoa to find their way around Samoa using GPS”.
The Taskforce for Street and Residence Addresses (TASRA) was approved by Cabinet at its directive FK(19)21.
The TASRA has been tasked to lead this milestone project and report to Cabinet on progress.
Members/Ministries in the TASRA;
1. Ministry of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
2. Ministry of Finance
3. Ministry of Works, Transport and Infrastructure
4. Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment
5. Office of the Attorney General
6. Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development
7. Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
8. Land Transport Authority
9. Office of the Electoral Commissioner
10. Samoa Bureau of Statistics
11. Samoa Water Authority
12. Electric Power Corporation