Tailua Beach Fales heavily impacted by climate change effects

Huge waves over the years have damaged fales and seawalls belonging to Tailua Beach Fales on Samoa’s second island of Savaii

Sand erosion is also a concern for the business which is located on the coast side of the village of Manase.

Tailua Beach Fales owner, Lauititi Tooalo said it has been challenging for her family even before the Covid-19 in 2020, to cope with the changes brought about by climate change.

“We’ve been awaiting any financial supports to try and renovate everything because truth be told we’ve invested so much money and effort into this business but the only assistance we got was the one from the government but it still is not enough to fix all that’s been destroyed,” she said.

Mrs. Tooalo said the seawall cost them more than $30,000 Tala and her priority for the grant by the government is to fix the facilities first.

However, she said even the facilities won’t all be fixed by that amount.

“Me and my husband had also been thinking of retransforming all the fales to modern style because from our experience, our local visitors are more into such accommodations than open houses like these,” she added.

“If it’s the tourists from overseas then we’d still consider rebuilding open fales because they love them but since borders are closed and the only guests we’re greeting these days are local visitors, we understand they have different tastes in places to stay in so we’re considering of rebuilding everything in a different style.

“However, it all relies on the assistance we can get and how much money we can earn and by the looks of it, it’s impossible but we’re staying hopeful.”

Tailua Beach Fales began operations over 20 years.

According to Mrs. Tooalo, the assistance from the government was used to pay off some of her NPF (National Provident Fund) and loan repayments while the rest was used for paying her employees.

Although it is only in the pipeline, Mrs. Tooalo added that the village has agreed to work on rebuilding the rest of their coastal areas mainly the beaches to combat the impacts of climate change as these impacts are not limited to Tailua Beach Fales.

Apart from the damage from the severe waves and sea level rise, Mrs. Tooalo also described that a river within the village is also adding to the damages.

“Whenever the tide goes down, you can see water flowing from the back flooding some areas of the village so I tell my children to dig wherever the water is flowing at so it goes straight into the sea,” she said.

Despite the closure of international borders, Tailua Beach Fales receive regular guests like students from the National University of Samoa who stay at the accommodation during their field trips to Savaii twice a year.



Photo supplied    

Talaia Mika