Interior Provides $10.6 Million to American Samoa for Training, Infrastructure at Wharf, Schools, and Hospital

Supports Improved Health, Economic Development Opportunities, and Conservation Awareness in the Territory

Last edited 11/30/2020
Contact Information

Tanya Harris Joshua 202-208-6008


(pictured left to right) American Samoa Lt. Governor Lemanu Mauga, American Samoa Governor Lolo Moliga,
Interior Assistant Secretary Doug Domenech, Office of Insular Affairs Director Nik Pula

PAGO PAGO, AMERICAN SAMOA – U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas Doug Domenech who is in the territory to help celebrate Flag Day, today met with American Samoa Governor Lolo Moliga and signed over $10.6 million in FY 2018 infrastructure grant funding in support of ongoing infrastructure projects at the wharf, schools, and hospital in American Samoa.  The funding also includes maintenance assistance funding to support apprenticeship training for the American Samoa Shipyard, and technical assistance funding to increase youth awareness and education about ocean and coastal conservation, as well as nurse licensing and training at the hospital.

“I met with Governor Lolo and key officials today and will continue to visit project sites throughout American Samoa,” said Assistant Secretary Domenech.  “I have had the privilege to witness first-hand the critical needs that infrastructure funding provides towards the health, social, and economic needs in American Samoa.  “As the new Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs, I remain ever committed to advocating for your needs to Secretary Zinke and at the highest levels of this administration,” concluded Assistant Secretary Domenech. 

Governor Lolo and Assistant Secretary Domenech

Governor Lolo and Assistant Secretary Domenech

Funding provided for FY2018 is detailed below.  All projects are funded through the Capital Improvement Project program unless otherwise indicated.

The American Samoa Department of Port Administration will receive $1,650,000 for the following: 

  • Malaloa Marina Wharf Dock Extension - $1,300,000 for construction to extend the existing wharf towards the east side of the harbor. This extension will address the need for extra docking space to service longline fishery vessels – the main suppliers for the tuna cannery in American Samoa.  The tuna industry in American Samoa is the largest employer and provides the largest export product for the territory.
  • FAA Matching Requirement - $350,000 will be provided to help meet a Federal Aviation Administration matching requirement.  The FAA awards American Samoa between $9 - $11 million annually to operate, maintain, and upkeep the Pago Pago International Airport in compliance with FAA requirements.  The FAA requires a five per cent local match of all grants over $4 million.

The American Samoa Department of Education will receive $3,900,000 for classrooms, busses, and gymnasiums as follows:

  • Tafuna High School, New Building - $1,500,000 for a 10-classroom, two-story building, and restroom facility to be constructed at Tafuna High School.  Site improvements will include landscaping, drainage, and provisions for accessibility as required under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  The basic structure follows the proven two-story classroom buildings that have already been constructed in numerous locations on Tutuila and provides for better utilization of limited space by building vertically. The new building will provide needed facility upgrades for students and will address flooding during heavy rainfall. 
  • Classroom/Cafeteria Building at the Fagaitua High School - $1,000,000 is to be used for construction of a new two-story building consisting of three classrooms on the upper level and a cafeteria on the lower level.  The same site improvements will be provided as for other school buildings.
  • Four new School Busses - $600,000 will be used to purchase four new school busses critical for transporting students to and from school, field trips, and sporting events.  The funding will include training for personnel on the proper operation, safety precautions, and maintenance of the current school buses.  With this new funding, American Samoa schools will increase their operating fleet to 20 busses. 
  • Two New Elementary School Gymnasiums - $800,000 will be used for the construction of pre-fabricated metal buildings serving as student gymnasiums to include stage and assembly area for students. 

The Lyndon B. Johnson Tropical Medical Center will receive $1,618,797as follows:

  • Labor, Delivery, and Operating Room Renovation - $1,454,950 for ongoing work to renovate the existing Labor Delivery room, Nursery and Operating Suite at the LBJ Hospital.  The new facility will meet all required Health Care Building codes as identified by the Health and Human Services Centers for Medicare/Medicaid Services.   
  • Nursing Patient Care Services and Healthcare Support Staff Workforce Development and Capacity Training - $163,847 to train, license, and build the healthcare workforce at the LBJ Hospital to includes nurses and support staff.  The training program will address the local shortage of U.S. licensed nurses and the shortage of credentialed support staff to sustain healthcare services in American Samoa.  This program is funded through OIA’s Technical Assistance Program.

American Samoa Power Authority, Water Improvements - $800,000 to replace and upgrade pipes in the water distribution system affected by oxidation degradation and multiple breakages.  ASPA is responsible for more than 150 miles in the water distribution system, but repairs will be focused on a two mile area with high loss of revenue.

Department of Youth and Women’s Affairs, Tafuna Youth Center - $900,000 for the Tafuna Youth Center construction, proposed to mirror the services provided at our Pago Pago Youth Center.  The new building will include recreational areas, an indoor basketball/volleyball court, a kitchen area, computer laboratory, sewing room, weight room, stage area, and restrooms.   Funding will also include furniture and equipment.

American Samoa Legislative Branch – New Fono (Legislative Building) - $1,100,000

for an ongoing project to replace the old Fono in Fagatogo, American Samoa.  This ongoing project and funding provides for demolition of the existing building, construction of a new two-story building to house offices for the Senate and House, respective foyers, conference rooms, and restroom facilities. Site improvements will include landscaping, drainage, ADA accessibility, and parking.  

Boys and Girls Club of American Samoa - $100,000 to develop educational marketing tools using social media to educate youth and increase awareness about ocean and coastal conservation.  Funds will also support a “Youth Ocean and Coastal Conservation Summit” targeting 800 students from around the Territory in collaboration with neighboring youth groups from Samoa, Tokelau, and Fiji.  College and Career workshops will also be developed for students to explore scholarship and future career opportunities in marine and coastal conservation.  This program is funded through OIA’s Technical Assistance Program.

Ronald Reagan Shipyard Authority of American Samoa - $56,500 to create a long-term Apprenticeship Training Program customized to the shipyard’s marine related disciplines, enhancing overall personal and professional capacity among management and line personnel.  Apprenticeship and certification programs will be developed in partnership with the American Samoa Community College.  This program is funded through OIA’s Maintenance Assistance Program.

All funds provided through the Office of Insular Affairs’ (OIA) Capital Improvement Project (CIP) Program for American Samoa included a five percent set aside to support maintenance and upkeep of projects. 

Funding for shipyard training, conservation awareness, and nurse licensing was provided through the OIA Maintenance Assistance and Technical Assistance Programs, respectively.   FY2018 funding for the territories was provided for through the Consolidated Omnibus Appropriations 2018 (U.S. Public Law 115-141), signed into law by President Trump on March 23, 2018.


The Department of the Interior coordinates the Secretary’s responsibilities with respect to the territories of American Samoa, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and administering and overseeing U.S. federal assistance provided to the Freely Associated States of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau under the Compacts of Free Association.  The Office of Insular Affairs’ mission is to restore trust and fulfill insular responsibilities by executing activities which bolster healthcare capacity, strengthen island economies, and fulfill U.S. Compact obligations.  The Assistant Secretary discharges these responsibilities on behalf of the Secretary of the Interior.



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