McConnell Dowell steps up to “drain the swamp” in Ottoville — not D.C.

fili@samoanews.com

This recent photo following heavy rain, shows huge pools of water — or a “lake” — at the secondary road fronting Holy Family Cemetery, Hope House, and other homes in Ottoville. When there is no rain the pool only shrinks a bit, but remains there, forming a stagnate body of water as part of the road.

For the continuing problem, McConnell Dowell has again stepped in to help clear this particular problematic area of the road, which becomes a long river every time it rains.

For several months, going back to at least last December, small sized vehicles could not even attempt to cross the road, because of the high water, even without rain and when the water has receded a bit. And during heavy rain, large vehicles don’t dare cross the road, as the “lake” becomes much wider. Many residents in the area, that used to pass through the road by walking to and from the four churches in the area, no longer use this road.

In an email letter last week Thursday, Larry Sanitoa requested McConnell Dowell’s help through the company’s new American Samoa Country Manager, Lee Steward.

Sanitoa, who wrote on behalf Bishop Peter Brown and the Hope House residents in Ottoville sought McConnell Dowell's “help and assistance to clean and drain the problematic drainage area by Hope House as a community service project.”

Sanitoa, who is chairman of the International Community at the Holy Family Parish in Fatuoaiga, and member of the Board of Directors for Hope House, noted that McConnell Dowell “graciously did a major community service project by repairing and cleaning the [same] drainage by Hope House.”

“The work was very much appreciated by the residents of Hope House, which is the only home-care facility of its kind in this Territory, for the infirm, children with severe disabilities and the elderly since 1987,” he explained.

“Unfortunately, the Department of Public Work (DPW) has not been consistently maintaining this problematic area since then and therefore it has become a major safety and hazardous condition for the traveling motorists due to the dangerous water level,” he points out.

“In addition, given the recent outbreak of the dengue fever, it has become a serious health hazard,” he explained. “The Hope House residents and children have been subjected to dealing with the issues resulting from stagnate water for many weeks after torrential downpours. The residents have continuously complained about the stench from numerous dead frogs in the cesspool. Needless to say again, this is a very serious health hazard.”

Last month Sanitoa sent an email request to DPW for help in draining and clearing up the stagnate cesspool. However, the problem is still there.

Samoa News points out that as of 9a.m. yesterday, the problematic stagnant water is still there and it appears more frogs have made the little river their home as more frogs flock to the water, around 6p.m. every day, to mingle, make noise and appear to be having lots of fun.

Steward recently conducted an assessment of the area, along with Sanitoa.  “Perhaps you now agree the stagnate water poses serious hazardous health and safety conditions not only for the traveling motorist but the residents in the area,” Sanitoa wrote in a email yesterday after the assessment.

And on behalf of Bishop  Brown and Hope House residents, “We thank you for agreeing to have McConnell Dowel drain the stagnate water and clean the drainage in this specific area,” Sanitoa wrote. “We greatly appreciate that your engineering team will look into a possible long term solution for this ongoing problem.”

A resident of the area has also written a letter to the editor complaining about this ‘lake’ and pointing to possible health hazards due to the stagnant water. Of note, the LTE writer said people are going around the road by cutting across the cemetery that’s located in the vicinity.

 

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