Integrated Flood Management to Enhance Climate Resilience of the Vaisigano River Catchment in Samoa

Project Overview

As a Small Island Developing State (SIDS) in the Pacific, Samoa has been heavily impacted by increasing severe tropical storms. In response, the Government of Samoa has adopted a programmatic approach to address the issue of climate change induced flooding in Samoa. As part of this programme, the Integrated Flood Management to Enhance Climate Resilience of the Vaisigano River Catchment in Samoa project will enable the Government of Samoa to reduce the impact of recurrent flood-related impacts in the Vaisigano river catchment. The river flows through the Apia Urban Area (AUA), Samoa’s primary urban economic area.
 
The primary direct beneficiaries include approximately 26,528 people in the Vaisigano river catchment who will benefit from upgraded infrastructure and drainage downstream, integrated planning and capacity strengthening, including planning for flooding caused by extreme weather events, and flood mitigation measures especially riverworks and ecosystems solutions in the Vaisigano River Catchment. Overall, 37,000 people will also benefit indirectly from project interventions. The economic net present value of the proposed investment project has been estimated to reach approximately US$15.6 million, and to yield an economic internal rate of return of approximately 15.5%. The project is expected to run from 2017-2023.

Expected Outcomes

Output 1. Strengthening capacities and mechanisms for integrated approach to reduce flood-related risks in place.

 

Output 2. Key infrastructure in the Vaisigano River Catchment are flood-proofed to increase resilience to negative effects of excessive water.

 
 
Output 3. Drainage in downstream areas upgraded for increased regulation of water flows.
 

 

Project Details

Levels of Intervention

National

Source of Funds

Green Climate Fund

Key Implementers

National Governments

Funding Amounts

US$65.7 million total. US$57.7 million from Green Climate Fund, US$8 million from Government of Samoa (as detailed in the ProDoc, Dec 2016)

Project Partners

Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE), Government of Samoa
Green Climate Fund
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Introduction

As a Small Island Developing State (SIDS) in the Pacific, Samoa has been heavily impacted by increasing severe tropical storms. In response, the Government of Samoa has adopted a programmatic approach to address the issue of climate change induced flooding in Samoa. As part of this programme, the Integrated Flood Management to Enhance Climate Resilience of the Vaisigano River Catchment in Samoa project will enable the Government of Samoa to reduce the impact of recurrent flood-related impacts in the Vaisigano river catchment. The river flows through the Apia Urban Area (AUA), Samoa’s primary urban economic area.
 
The primary direct beneficiaries include approximately 26,528 people in the Vaisigano river catchment who will benefit from upgraded infrastructure and drainage downstream, integrated planning and capacity strengthening, including planning for flooding caused by extreme weather events, and flood mitigation measures especially riverworks and ecosystems solutions in the Vaisigano River Catchment. Overall, 37,000 people will also benefit indirectly from project interventions. The economic net present value of the proposed investment project has been estimated to reach approximately US$15.6 million, and to yield an economic internal rate of return of approximately 15.5%. The project is expected to run from 2017-2023.

Project Details

GCF resources will be used to implement a combination of integrated watershed and flood management works including both hard and soft measures. This includes upgrading river works to cater to increased water flows during flood events (taking into account the likelihood of the increased frequency of extreme events), ensuring that infrastructure works, and home dwellings, government and private-sector buildings are made more secure and provide adequate shelter in case of floods and their aftermaths. Additionally, the project will ensure that when floodwaters occur, the excess waters are channeled away through an effective, efficient, and fit-for-purpose drainage system. The project will consequently play a critical role in assisting the urban population and economy to effectively manage the inevitable increased intensity and frequency of flooding.

Direct benefits from these interventions include reduced risk of damage to public and private infrastructure/assets; reduced possibility of loss of life; and enhanced land value in flood-prone areas. Indirect benefits include reduced losses in income/sales; reduced costs of clean-ups, maintenance and repairs; reduced costs of relief and response efforts; and reduced possibility of health hazards. In addition to these 26,000 direct beneficiaries, the general population of Samoa will benefit from the safeguarding of critical economic assets and learning that will be generated.

In addition, mid and upstream ecosystem and community-based adaptation measures will enhance capture, infiltration, storage and delayed release of rainwater in soils and biomass, and water retention ponds will serve both climate-smart agribusiness development and combat degradation of vulnerable ecosystems through appropriate agro-forestry land-use practices.

Addressing Climate Change in Samoa

Recent extreme events have resulted in approximately US$200 million worth of damages during each event. Climate projections for Samoa suggest that the risk of climate induced events will increase, potentially undermining development progress in urban Apia where the majority of the population and economic activity is located.

Given the topography of the country, extreme events result in significant river discharge that results in flooding of lowland areas. Recent tropical events such as Cyclone Evan have caused significant damage to both public and private assets as a result of flooding, resulting in serious health impacts. Urban infrastructure has suffered considerably from the recurrence of flooding and is unable to cope as climate change-related events are expected to become more frequent and intense.

Projected climate change scenarios cited by the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) suggest that Samoa is expected to have more frequent and extreme rainfall events; more frequent and longer drought events; increased air and water temperatures; sea level rise; and more frequent extreme wind events.

 

Climate-Related Hazards Addressed: 
Level of Intervention: 
Key Collaborators: 
Primary Beneficiaries: 
26,528 people living in the Vaisigano River Catchment in Samoa
Implementing Agencies & Partnering Organizations: 
Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE), Government of Samoa
Green Climate Fund
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Project Status: 
Source of Funds Approval/Endorsement
Location: 
Rural
Funding Source: 
Financing Amount: 
US$65.7 million total. US$57.7 million from Green Climate Fund, US$8 million from Government of Samoa (as detailed in the ProDoc, Dec 2016)

News

Funding Proposal approved by Green Climate Fund Board: 14 December 2016
Funded Activity Agreement (FAA) effectiveness reached: 11 July 2017
Local Project Appraisal Committee meeting (LPAC): 4 July 2017
Project Document signature between UNDP and Government: 21 July 2017

'Every dollar counts in fight against climate change - New GCF Funding for Samoa' - Samoa Observer, December 16, 2016. Op-ed celebrating Somoa's recently approved US$58 million Green Climate Fund project.

'Director General hails meeting outcome' -  Samoa Observer, December 15, 2016. The Director General of the Vailima-based Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (S.P.R.E.P), Leota Kosi Latu, has hailed the outcome of Green Climate Fund Board meeting in Apia. With three multi-million projects proposed by Pacific...
 
 

YouTube

 

Learn more about the climate challenges facing Samoa, and how UNDP is working to address those challenges and reduce risks.

Key Results and Outputs

The project represents the Government of Samoa’s initial steps in operationalizing a comprehensive flood management solution for the likely consequences of extreme events in Apia, the capital with about 80,000 people. In this project, three interlinked project outputs will be pursued:

  • Capacities and information base strengthened for the Government of Samoa to pursue an integrated approach to reduce vulnerability towards flood-related risks;
  • Key infrastructure in the Vaisigano River Catchment are flood-proofed to increase resilience to negative effects of excessive water; and
  • Upgraded drainage in downstream areas to increase capacity and allow for more rapid outflow of flood waters.

Programme Meetings and Workshops


Multimedia

Managing floods and enhancing climate resilience in Samoa

As a small island developing state in the Pacific, Samoa has been heavily impacted by increasing severe tropical storms. In response, the Government of Samoa has adopted a programmatic approach to address the issue of climate change-induced flooding. With financing from the Green Climate Fund, the Government-led, UNDP-supported project 'Integrated Flood Management to Enhance Climate Resilience of the Vaisigano River Catchment in Samoa' will enable the Government to reduce the impact of recurrent flood-related impacts in the Vaisigano river catchment. 

Monitoring and Evaluation


Contacts

UNDP
Reis Lopez Rello
Regional Technical Specialist - Adaptation