Manila: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Samoa participated in a groundbreaking ceremony today to officially start the upgrading of the country’s international port.
Prime Minister of Samoa Fiame Naomi Mataafa gave the keynote address at the event that was also attended by Samoa’s Minister of Works, Transport, and Infrastructure Olo Fiti Vaai, ADB’s Samoa Pacific Country Office’s Dahlia Loibl, and other senior government officials.
“Now is the time to develop resilient infrastructure that can withstand extreme weather events and climate change,” said Mr. Vaai. “We are delighted to partner with ADB in this transformational project.”
Financed by ADB and Samoa, the Enhancing Safety, Security, and Sustainability of Apia Port Project will transform the port into a more resilient and efficient international port.
“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 a 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.