IS IT TRUE? IS IT TRUE?
Is it True that the power was turned off — islandwide —on Ofu, Manu’a for about 3 hours, a week ago, Monday, by the families that own the land where the American Samoa Power Authority generators are located?
Yes, it’s true, according to the Tili and Ta’amu family matai, who say the family owns the land where ASPA has their generators.
Both leading matai for the family, Tili Fa'au'uga and Tauaveave Ta'amu, say that late last year (around October), ASPA was notified by the Tili & Ta'amu family in Ofu, Manu'a that they needed to remove equipment from their land (Fei'a), until an agreement is reached between the family and ASPA.
(Samoa News ran an open letter to the editor, to ASPA, last year, by Ta’amu, in the Samoan language, regarding this land issue. At that time, Ta’amu said the same letter was delivered to ASPA.)
Tili and Ta’amu both told Samoa News, that it wasn't until last Monday, April 2 that the families made good on their threat and turned off the power in Ofu by locking the access gate to their land. They did this at 11 a.m. in the morning, they said.
However, the matai explained, in the afternoon, Department of Public Safety officials in Manu'a approached the family, with a request from Deputy Commissioner Laumoli Leseiau to please open the gate so the power could be turned back on for families in Ofu — appealing to their sense of community and alofa for the Ofu people.
The family responded — allowing ASPA access to the land to turn the generators back on, around 2 p.m. Later in the afternoon, Andra Samoa, Director of ASPA, called to arrange a meeting with the family.
Tili and Ta’amu said they had a meeting with Samoa, yesterday morning (Thursday), but they could not come to an agreement.
According to the leading family matai, they rejected the proposal from ASPA and have given ASPA a month to come up with another agreement, acceptable to the families, or they will once again lock the gate to their land.
Efforts to reach Laumoli and Samoa for comments were unsuccessful by press time.