Plans to build a new prison building for the big island of Savaii is in the works and the Minister of Prisons Tialavea Tionisio Hunt elaborated on the status of the plans and the progress of the work being carried out at Vaiaata.
“The prison house at Vaiaata looks like a family house with barred windows and a door.
It’s not your typical prison house and quite frankly I don’t think any other prison in the world looks like the one we have in Savaii,” said Tialavea.
“We need to upgrade the prison facilities that house the prisoners.
The prison house that exists right now is overcrowded with the 40 prisoners serving time in Vaiaata, hence why we are planning to build a prison building block similar to the ones being built at Tanumalala,” he added.
The Government plans to build a prison block with a capacity to house 100 prisoners and a new administration office building.
The old administration building will be developed into a living quarters for the Police officers and the open fale turned in to a Chapel.
These new developments for Vaiaata prison are estimated to cost ST$600,000 and are to be submitted to Cabinet for consideration.
Other developments at Vaiaata include; cocoa, taro and banana plantations.
When harvested, these crops cater to provide food for all three prisons – Tanumalala, Oloamanu and Vaiaata.
The banana and taro crops are intended for export; however, if there’s not enough food supply for the three prisons, then taro crops will not be exported.
Revenue generated from these exported crops help boost the food budget for all three prison facilities.