REMARKS BY CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, MINISTRY OF WORKS, TRANSPORT & INFRATRUCTURE, MAGELE HOE VIALA TO ACCEPT EUIPMENT AND ACCESSORIES FUNDED AND PROVIDED BY THE GOVERNMENT OF NEW ZEALAND AT A COST OF NZD$140,000 TO THE SAMOA PORTS AUTHORITY. 31 March 2021- Matauta-tai SPA Warehouse
On behalf of the Caretaker Minister for Works, Transport and Infrastructure, Tapunu’u Papaliitele Unasa Niko Lee Hang it is my honor to accept the kind and generous assistance by the Government of New Zealand through its Maritime New Zealand.
Samoa is fortunate to benefit under the Pacific Maritime Safety Programme (PMSP) where Maritime New Zealand carried our risk assessment for Samoa which identified, although at medium risk, there is a high likelihood of an oil spill within our international port waters due to the increasing volume of shipping traffic.
Even more so, with border closures, Samoa’s lifeline to global trade has now been on ships, which compels the need to be prepared to respond to a marine spill.
The risk assessment in 2018 highlighted the need for Samoa to ensure its response capability is sufficient to respond to any type of incidents resulting from shipping activities occurring in our national waters.
The risk of probable oil spills from vessels entering our waters particularly within our internal waters is high and as such, Samoa should have the means and tools to respond.
Marine incidents are inevitable despite our integrated efforts to prevent such disaster through ensuring safety procedures and practices on board vessels are complied with, and crew members are adequately trained to ensure risks are anticipated and reduced.
We have only to see the catastrophic impact of marine spills on Mauritius to understand the environmental damage these can cause to our coastal shorelines, our marine resources and our livelihoods.
The prevention of such marine incidents is our joint, collective responsibility.
We thank the Government of New Zealand through its Maritime New Zealand for this generous assistance to equip our maritime and port personnel to respond to a marine spill.
I am aware that Maritime New Zealand will liaise and coordinate with our Ministry on suitable timeframes to held trainings for our maritime and port personnel in the deployment of our oil spill response equipment.
I would also like to mention the ongoing efforts through our regional partnerships in ensuring that Samoa has access to resources renowned for services and assistance in a Tier Three marine spill.
To that end, I would like to call upon the Vice Chair of MPAC / SPA GM to do us the honor of cutting the ribbon and officially receiving our oil spill response equipment.