“EASTERN SIDE ROAD IS VULNERABLE TO ROCK SLIDE”
While driving to and from the eastern side of Tutuila Island, my humble heart beats rapidly when I come across the huge boulders hanging from above the main road of the mountain coastal edges at Laulii, Alega, Auto, and Amouli. Sad to say that the heavy boulders could discharge anytime because the trees and shrubs used to secure them tightly have been removed and left unserviceable for more than two months now, making the main roads around these territories more vulnerable to mud or rock slides and could result in a loss of many innocent lives.
I grind my teeth every time I rapidly pass these areas, postulating that one of these days a family car, commercial or school buses full of innocent people could be smashed and flatten like pancakes if any of the five-tons boulders hanging from above loosen and fall on them unexpectedly.
Above all, I am very much disturbed to think of how in the world the major planning Agencies of our Government, mainly Public Works, ASEPA, PNRS, and Federal Highway gave a green light to the Contractor to cut down the trees and shrubs that had helped bolster the rocks and ground from causing erosion or mud slides, exposing great threats to the lives of everyone who walks or drives around these sections of the main road.
I would be content if the project continued to the end rather than stalling — for more than two to three months now — who knows how much longer.
We often hear of the wise saying; “Prevention is far better than Cure”. Simply put, to execute preventive measures after lives are lost due to negligence is simply a reflection of ludicrous planning and decision making.
What is the use of applying preventive measures afterward when the lives are already wasted, if any of these hanging rocks suddenly break down and land on a vehicle unexpectedly?
Alas! The lives of the commuters from the eastern side of the Island are truly at stake, it’s just a matter of time, and particularly we are in the middle of Natural Disasters Season.
I hope the responsible Contractor and Government Planning Agencies will take a serious look at these road areas, and take the necessary preventive actions to expedite the completion of whatever the next phases are to avoid major catastrophes. Certainly, good planning on these types of projects can save cost, time and lives.
“E sili lava le malu puipuia nai lo le togafitia.”
Fanuatele T. Vaiaga'e, Ph.D