Fono in Review
HOUSE HEALTH COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN WRITES TO DOH DIRECTOR
Concerns were raised during the House of Representatives regular session regarding the practice of opening boxed and packaged frozen food (chicken) and separating them into smaller bags, and this was the basis of a letter sent to Health Director Motusa Toatolu Nua, from Chairman of the House Health Committee, Rep. Maugaoalii Sipa Anoa’i.
According to the letter this issue was first raised by Maoputasi Rep. Va’amua H. Sesepasara, on reported cases and unhealthy practices by store owners that are believed to not be in compliance with the health standards of DOH. The concerns of the Fono and of the House Health Committee is that this type of unhealthy activity is becoming a normal practice throughout the territory, said Maugaoalii.
“The opening of boxed and packaged frozen food (chicken) and separating them in smaller bags is cause for concern and something that your department should look into. Furthermore, it has been reported that rice, sugar, and other food products packed and sealed in the original manufactured bags are also tampered with and repacked for consumption.
“Certainly a health issue is in question here given that most of these practices are done in plain view of the consumers.” Maugaoalii further stated that invariably the repackaging of food products from their original package is in itself a health hazard.
“People have witnessed firsthand the use of hammers, and unsanitized tools to separate frozen chicken, and rice repacked on the floor,” he said. He noted the health and welfare of our community is of particular importance in the healthcare environment, and while he understands the health department is doing an excellent job in preventive measures, he feels that this issue needs to be prioritized.
RESOLUTION ON BRACING HILLSIDE IN AMOULI APPROVED
A resolution seeking the governor to instruct Director of Public Works to prepare and implement plans to brace the hillside in the area known as Fagafaga in Amouli was approved in the House earlier this week.
The Resolution states boulders and loose dirt continue to fall onto the road and many times cause impassible conditions for vehicles, and the area known as “Fagafaga” — the bend leading to Amouli village— continues to show signs of near collapse. A stream was diverted when the road was carved out and it continues to run directly onto the road during rainfall. Rocks continue to fall and boulders have also been removed and it is prudent for the government to take immediate action to brace the hillside in this area to prevent a possible landslide.
Like the project done after the Fagatogo landslide, a similar one has to be conducted in Fagafaga where the hillside is graded and tiered to prevent possible damage and loss of life; also, much of the roads in Saole District run along the mountainside and in the high elevated areas, making driving conditions very dangerous for motorists.
CONCERNS VOICED OVER SAFETY HAZARDS OF OVERGROWN TREES
Rep. Fatulegae’e Mauga has repeatedly raised concerns during the House regular session regarding the safety hazards posed by overgrown trees near the main highway in villages in his District.
He urged the Public Works Committee chaired by Rep. Atualevao Gafatasi Afalava to look into this and have the Public Works cut down the trees near the road. Mauga also voiced the same concerns to the American Samoa Power Authority, noting that there are too many trees that are too close to the main road. He said that aside from Amouli this also exists in Vatia, and Aoa, where trees are higher than telephone poles.
Rep. Atualevao said he will relay the concerns to the Department of Public Works.