International Women’s Day

Celebrating the women at the helm of Samoa’s biggest ever climate change and disaster resilient project on International Women’s Day
International Womens Day 2019
Some of the ladies working hard behind the scenes at the VCP PMU (from left) Nola Talaepa-Patu, Papalii Ropeta Lei Sam, Pisaina Leilua-Lei Sam, Anne Milbank, Pupaia Leung Wai.

A few years ago, the acronym GCF probably wouldn’t register on many people’s minds here.

That’s because the GCF, or the Green Climate Fund, hadn’t had any involvement with Samoa yet.

Fast forward to 2019, GCF is now behind Samoa’s biggest climate change and disaster resilient project to date, the Integrated Flood Management to Enhance Climate Resilience of the Vaisigano River Catchment in Samoa, and now it looks set to add itself to the long list of acronyms that have become a mainstay of Samoan lingo.

And leading the local Project Management Unit that is in charge of seeing this project through to successful completion is a woman who not only knows all too well the magnitude of the mammoth task ahead but is ready and able to take it all in her stride.

Pisaina Leilua-Lei Sam of Tanoale’ia, Vaivase-uta aged 61 is an independent consultant, married and a mother of two grown up children. She holds a Master in Public Administration from Harvard University, a Post Graduate Degree in Development Administration from the Australia National University and a Diploma in Commerce from the University of the South Pacific.

Pisaina has over 10 years’ experience in consultancy work in project management, financial, procurement and contract management, budgeting and strategic planning and more importantly on climate resilience policy and community engagement in Samoa, Tokelau and in the Pacific, having worked on similar projects in the region through her engagement with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme. She has extensive experience in grant facility management and ensuring donor funded projects he has been involved with in their management and implementation in the past 30 years meet and comply with funders’ accountability criteria and requirements.

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