Over 50 new homes for vulnerable families

Over 50 shelters will be built for vulnerable families across Upolu Island, thanks to the Government’s $1 million stimulus package.

The funding assistance was allocated in 2020 as part of the Government’s Second Stimulus Package in response to the impact of the COVID-19 economic downturn.

The Adventist Development Relief Agency (A.D.R.A.) of Samoa is overseeing the project in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance. 

The project aims to build and refurbish more than 120 homes belonging to vulnerable families in Upolu and Savaii. 

According to the A.D.R.A. Samoa project manager, Tuioti Sakaria Taituave, there are 57 new homes that would have been built by the end of 2020.

He added that the 57 houses belong to families from 31 electoral constituencies with two more constituencies to be completed. 

Their target is to build 62 new homes in Upolu plus 42 in Savai’i, while the remaining number of houses to be built will be selected from those that fit the criteria, and where the most needs are present.

“So far, we have completed 28 home refurbishments but we need to build 22 more renovations," he said. “The feedback from the families was quite good.

“All the beneficiaries are grateful to the Government and A.D.R.A. for building their shelters because most of these people cannot afford it and can’t loan from anywhere.”

Tuioti said all beneficiaries are required to go through an hour or two sessions on COVID-19 plus financial literacy training.

“We are trying to help them on how to spend their limited finances and some of them live from their own small commercial farming or vegetable garden.”

Tuioti also explained that the project is significant because in previous years, there was no such project like this before.

He also mentioned that some families featured in Samoa Observer's Village Voice column will be selected for the project. 

“We are proposing to the Government to extend [the project] to maybe one or two years in order to capture the most vulnerable families at this stage.”

While shelters are needed by vulnerable families, Tuioti said their assessments have identified other issues such as lack of water and electricity and no modern toilet facilities which they also try and see if they can assist in any way. 

He added that the project should be completed by May of this year with more than 120 newly built and renovated homes. 

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