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It could have been worse.

That’s what Lagi Keresoma, a resident of Samoa’s capital Apia, said about the effects of the floods that inundated her property and many others in the area on the morning of December 18, 2020.

“Although this flood was quite destructive, it could have been much worse if it weren’t for the upgraded work on the Vaisigano wall that has protected many families from re-experiencing the impacts of Cyclone Evan in 2012. When Evan hit, many homes were swept away then when the ocean surge hit the Apia area and the Vaisigano river overflowed its bank causing major destruction to homes. Lives were lost too. The area was vulnerable to the ocean and the river,” said Ms. Keresoma.

Her sentiments were echoed by other residents.

The reduced impact was due mainly to mitigation measures put in place over recent years, supported by the United Nations Development Programme and funded by the Global Environment Facility and the Green Climate Fund.


“It could have been worse”: How Samoa is building resilience to floods in its capital