APIA, SAMOA (12 June 2024) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) today approved a $111 million project that will address the country’s cross-cutting climate adaptation challenges of flood risk management, sustainable and reliable water supply, and renewable energy security.   

The Alaoa Multipurpose Dam Project is supported by a grant of almost $100 million from ADB’s Asian Development Fund (ADF), which provides grants to ADB’s poorest and most vulnerable countries. It is replenished every 4 years by the ADF’s donor countries. The Ireland Trust Fund for Building Climate Change and Disaster Resilience in Small Island Developing States will contribute $400,000 and the Government of Samoa will provide more than $11 million.

The project will support the construction of a multipurpose dam to reduce flood risks in the capital, Apia, provide a reliable and sustainable source of water supply and provide support on flood risk management systems, capacity building, and biodiversity conservation and management. A run-of-river small hydropower plant will also help to reduce Samoa’s dependency on imported fossil fuels for power generation.

“ADB is grateful for the partnership with the Government of Samoa in preparing this project. Extensive assessments and technical analyses were undertaken to ensure that the infrastructure design will incorporate robust climate and disaster-resilient features,” said ADB Director General for the Pacific Leah Gutierrez.

“A noteworthy component of this project is the establishment of an innovative biodiversity offset trust fund. This will ensure no net loss of biodiversity to Samoa’s natural environment. The fund will also ensure sustainable financing for biodiversity protection and enhancement” she said.  

To ensure the robustness of dam safety, ADB has engaged an independent panel of experts, which has provided an additional robust technical review of the project.

Close consultations with stakeholders, including affected villages, government agencies, and civil society organizations and nongovernment organizations were integral to project preparation. Around 60 extensive consultations and meetings were conducted within the 5-year project preparation period, except during the pandemic.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.

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