Work starts in Saipipi, Savai'i on new building

The construction of a new school building for Saipipi, Savai'i is underway after the village demolished its two-decades-old school building last week. 

Saipipi Primary School was awarded a grant of US$129,686 ($333,000 tala) to reconstruct a school building with the grant coming courtesy of the Japanese government.

Speaking to the Samoa Observer, Member of Parliament for Fa'asaleleaga No.3, Tofa Li'o Foleni said that they appreciate the Japanese government’s generosity.

But they are not relying on the Japanese government’s grant alone and are raising their own funds to also contribute to the project to realise their dreams.

"We are also offering our help by availing the time and efforts of the untitled men in the village to help out and assist the builders so it would make it easy and fast,” he said. "We will also be hosting tausala every now and then to raise money to help up with anything that is needed for the project. 

“While we remain humble and grateful to the Japanese government for their kind assistance, we will not rest and will offer our help any way we can."

The old school building was demolished over two days last week with construction work commencing on Monday. 

Earlier this month, Japan’s Ambassador to Samoa, Terasawa Genichi and the Saipipi Primary School Committee President Tofa Peniamina, signed an agreement to formalise the grant approval.

The grant is provided under Japan’s Grant Assistance for Grass-Roots Human Security Projects.

The old school building, which is earmarked for renovation, is over 15 years old and is in a dilapidated state due to its age and being exposed to natural disasters such as cyclones.

According to a statement released by the Japanese Embassy, the grant will enable the reconstruction of a new school building that houses eight classrooms, a library as well as a staff room.

“Japan provides small and flexible grants to support development projects at the grassroots level through its Grant Assistance for Grass-Roots Human Security Project in line with the areas of high priority in Samoa’s Strategy for Development which includes education,” states the Embassy’s media release. “The Government of Japan reaffirmed its continuous commitment towards improving the learning environment across Samoa.”

The grant scheme for Grass-Roots Human Security Project Programme in Samoa has been widely implemented in areas such as education, water supply and health since 1991. To date more than 190 projects have been implemented under the grant scheme which amounts to an approximately US$1.6 million ($4 million tala).

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