The Dept. of Public Works is currently helping the ASOA group by putting new sewer lines leading to their meeting place at the Tafuna Housing area on Tasi street. [photo: Jeff Hayner]

The American Samoa Organization on Aging (ASOA), a non-profit organization that helps serve the needs of the elderly and aging population in the territory, was recently faced with a big problem estimated to cost them thousands of dollars to fix, if the Department of Public Works had not come to the rescue.
According to the President of ASOA Marysita Brown, there was a problem with the organization’s office located at the Tafuna Housing area on Tasi Street. Brown stated that the restroom toilet was backing up, so they called in the American Samoa Power Authority (ASPA) to look at the problem to see if it could be fixed.
“After ASPA came out and looked at the problem, we found out that we were hooked up to a septic tank that was full of sand,” said Brown. “ASPA said that if we wanted to be hooked to a sewer line, we had to build a restroom outside, or we had to have piping run to an open field that is across the way from the building,” she said.
She said that the government was threatening to close them down because of no ‘proper restroom facilities’ within the building.  “We were not sure what we were going to do at first, because this was a big problem and we could not shut down. We have a service here and a lot of our elderly people are counting on us, because a lot of those elderly people come here,” explained Brown.
Brown said that that is when the Department of Public Works (DPW) stepped in and decided to help out by donating and volunteering their time by putting in a sewer line at no charge. “We are so grateful to the DPW and Director Faleosina Voight and all of those responsible in making this happen. We could not have completed this task without them. This place is so important to the Seniors that are part of the ASOA. We helped out as much as we could by supplying some of the materials for the work to be done,” she said.
The ASOA organization, which first formed in 2009, met at the AP Lutali Senior Center in Pago Pago. In 2011, they relocated to the Tafuna Housing.
Some of the programs they held since the formation of the group is a Senior Mentoring Program, diverse education and training sessions for the Seniors and many other outreach programs. They are currently looking for wheelchairs and beds for Seniors that are in need.
President Brown said that volunteers and new members are always welcomed and if anyone is interested to call the ASOA office at 699-1131.


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