Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


NIWA works with Samoan village to build better future

NIWA works with Samoan village to build better future

A unique pilot project to help Samoa’s largest village better cope with natural disaster is the focus of an upcoming exhibition at the Museum of Samoa timed to coincide with a major United Nations conference in Apia.

The Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States opens on 1 September and is expected to attract about 3000 international delegates.

The pilot project was initiated by NIWA marine geologist Geoffroy Lamarche and Wellington architect Cécile Bonnifait. It aims to help the Samoan community build its resilience to natural disasters and proposes some new building solutions that take into account Samoan culture and local materials.

It focuses on the village of Sa’anapu on the south coast of Samoa’s main island, Upolo and combines expertise in science, anthropology and architecture. The village was badly affected by the 2009 tsunami, during which near 150 people lost their lives, and Cyclone Evans in late 2012.

Much of the village is built on a sand berm bounded by mangroves and a fringing reef. Both mangroves and the reef have highly prized ecological, economic and cultural values for the village. Rising sea levels are causing erosion and retreat of the sand berm, meaning the village has been progressively moving but not in a controlled or planned manner. Early engagement with the council of Matais (chiefs) of Sa'anapu has enabled everyone to work towards developing a stronger future for the village.

The exhibition will showcase some of the work already completed and includes physical models of new village facilities that it is hoped will be built at Sa’anapu. NIWA has been involved in assessing the potential impact of a tsunami on the village, by generating a numerical model of a tsunami originating from the Tonga Trench, and in estimating frequency of natural disasters.

Other components of the project include planning for a community centre that transforms into an emergency shelter during natural disasters, relocation of a pre-school outside the high hazard area, and training Samoan experts to continue collecting survivor stories.

Dr Lamarche says the relationships between the natural environment and the architectural and social environments are rarely accounted for in projects involving coastal island communities.

“We are merging research, creativity, construction and knowledge transfer in a very exciting way. But what makes this pilot project really special is its focus on finding modern solutions that retain and preserve the cultural heritage, history and traditions of the village.”

Ms Bonnifait says they want to create a new focal point for the village by creating a community building that is a contemporary adaption of traditional Samoan architecture. Those involved have been working alongside local Matai to learn more about the village history, and with craftsmen, guardians of the traditional building techniques.

“The engagement the people of Sa’anapu is crucial to the success of this conceptual project. We were fortunate that the council of Matai of the village was willing to collaborate with us. One of the orators - Popese Leaana (Tupu) - has a unique skill set that combines excellent technical expertise of local and traditional construction and a direct knowledge of the effects of climate change and natural hazards on the village. ”
Funding for the early stages of the project has been a joint effort between NIWA and the Pacific Fund, created in 1985 by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in order to promote social, economic, scientific and cultural development and integration in the Pacific.
The exhibition opens at the Museum of Samoa on 28 August and runs until 24 October 2014. The official opening will be on September 1 and will be attended by Samoa, New Zealand, France and New Caledonia dignitaries as well as many Sa’anapu residents. Dr Lamarche says the next stage of the project is to secure more funding so that this conceptual project can progress to a feasibility stage.

The exhibition opens at the Museum of Samoa on 28 August and runs until 24 October. The official opening will be on September 1 and will be attended by Samoa, New Zealand, France and New Caledonia dignitaries as well as many Sa’anapu residents. Dr Lamarche says the next stage of the project is to secure more funding so that this conceptual project can progress to a feasibility stage.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Science: Hookworm Discovery At Malaghan Institute

Professor Graham Le Gros has led a team which has stimulated both innate and memory responses to the parasite, discovering along the way the unexpected behaviour of one particular immune cell, in Hookworm, one of the world’s most devastating tropical ... More>>

Business: Provinces Urged To Make Full Use Of New Air Services

Provincial New Zealand has been urged to use new air services to Auckland or risk losing them either partially or completely. The stark warning was issued today by Far North mayor John Carter at a ceremony at Kaitaia airport to mark the final Air ... More>>

Mobile: 2degrees To Credit All Calls And SMS To Nepal

In the wake of the devastating earthquake in Nepal in the weekend, 2degrees will be crediting all calls and SMS messages made to mobiles and landlines in Nepal from Friday 24th April until midnight Wednesday 29th April. More>>

Scoop Business: Alex Swney Pleads Guilty To $2.5M Fraud Charge

Alex Swney, former chief executive of the Auckland city centre business association Heart of the City, has pleaded guilty to dishonestly using documents to obtain $2.5 million. More>>

ALSO:

Petrol Burns Prices: Second Consecutive Quarterly Fall For CPI

The consumers price index (CPI) fell 0.3 percent in the March 2015 quarter, following a 0.2 percent fall in the December 2014 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. The last time the CPI showed two consecutive quarterly falls was in the December 1998 and March 1999 quarters. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Broadcasters Launch Battle Against Global Mode ISPs

New Zealand broadcasters have confirmed they’ve launched legal proceedings against internet service providers who give customers’ access to “global mode”, which allows customers access to offshore online content, claiming it breaches the local content providers’ copyright. More>>

ALSO:

Sanford: Closure Of Christchurch Mussel Processing Plant Confirmed

The decision comes after a period of consultation with the 232 staff employed at the Riccarton site, who were told on 9 April that Sanford was considering the future of mussel processing in Christchurch. Recent weather patterns had impacted on natural spat (offspring) supply... More>>

ALSO:

Price Of Cheese: Dairy Product Prices Fall To The Lowest This Year

Dairy product prices fell in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction, hitting the lowest level in the 2015 auctions so far, as prices for milk powder and butter slid amid concern about the outlook for commodities. More>>

ALSO:

Houston, We Have An Air Route: Air New Zealand To Fly Direct To The Heart Of Texas

Air New Zealand will fly its completely refitted Boeing 777-200 aircraft between Auckland and Houston up to five times a week opening up the state of Texas as well as popular nearby tourist states such as Louisiana and Florida. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news