A groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the new prison on the 550 acres land at Tanumalala, will take place in May.
This was confirmed by the Minister of Prisons, Ti’alavea Tionisio Hunt.
The Prime Minister had previously told overseas journalists that the prison would be ready midway through this year, delays have been attributed to budget funds being unavailable.
Ti’alavea said, the $10 million loan for construction will come from the Unit Trust of Samoa (U.T.O.S.) and has been approved by Cabinet.
“We have advertised the position for a project manager,” said Ti’alavea. “It is estimated that it will take about eight months to build.
“We are hoping that by the beginning of next year, we will be able to move from Tafa’igata to Tanumalala.”
Already, there is access to both water and electricity at the site, he said.
“We were there last week on Friday to check and inspect the place once again.
“The new facility will hold shelter for about 600-700 people.
“This building will have separate holding cells for women inmates remanded in custody awaiting court proceedings.
The new facilities will also center on areas of reform and rehabilitation with workshops for the prisoners to learn and trade skills, not to mention a multi-purpose hall.”
“So that’s the plan for Tanumalala.”
And what will become of the prison facilities and land at Tafa’igata?
“For Tafaigata, I hear the plan is to have it as a residential area,” said Ti’alavea.
“There are a lot of plans for that 118 acre piece of land at Tafa’igata.”