A new transmission tower for Samoan Government National Radio Broadcaster 2AP, funded by Australian Aid under the Radio 2AP Redevelopment Project, has been launched by the Hon. Prime Minister Tuilaepa Aiono Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi and the Australian High Commissioner to Samoa, Ms Sara Moriarty.
Work on the AUD$4.57 million project took just under a year, with the tower completed within budget and in less time than originally planned. The project was implemented by ABC International Development and information and communication technology specialist firm Kordia.
The new tower is built to withstand a Category 5 cyclone and will enhance radio 2AP’s emergency broadcasting role, in which it provides critical information to communities across Samoa and beyond during times of natural disaster.
When Samoa’s Parliament sits, the transmitter will also broadcast sessions as part of open and accountable governance.
The Honourable Prime Minister said: “I am pleased to be jointly launching this milestone today with the Australian High Commissioner, as part of helping Samoa and its climate resilience program for Small Island States in the Pacific Region”.
For the first time, Samoans can now hear 2AP on AM and FM radio frequencies. Two FM transmitters, installed as a temporary measure while the new tower was built, will continue to be used and provide increased reach and accessibility for citizens. A new digital-ready AM transmitter was also installed.
The project drew on the expertise of local Samoan businesses and has injected more than 3 million Tala (AUD$1.6 million) into the local economy for local contractors, accommodation, provision of support services and in Samoan taxes.
In upgrading the site for the new tower project managers took into consideration rising sea levels and the need to withstand natural disasters. The site on the coastline also takes into account the surrounding ecosystem, especially marine species and mangroves. Specialist equipment for the project was imported from New Zealand, Australia, Italy, Canada and the US. 10km of cables are buried on the site to create an earth mat to increase performance and coverage of the AM transmitter. Early reports indicate the signal is strong.