The Assistant Commissioner of Prison and Correction Services, Ulugia Niuia Aumua, has revealed that the construction of the Tanumalala Prison, will most likely be completed by July next year.
This is despite the fact that the Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, had announced in July 2016, it would be completed in June this year.
Ulugia said the delay in getting the project underway, was because they had been waiting for financial help from overseas.
That did not materialise, so that accorring to Ulugia, “the Government of Samoa has stepped up to fund the project “.
In December 2016, Samoa Prisons Minister, Tialavea Fea Leniu Tionisio Hunt announced that the loan papers had been signed with the Unit Trust of Samoa, (U.T.O.S.).
“The loan of $10 million will be paid by funds from the prison’s budget,” he had said at the time.
Meanwhile, Ulugia said that the aim is to have the groundbreaking ceremony in two weeks time.
“We have already approached our Project Manager and so we are now waiting for our Tenders Board to find out who the lucky contractor is who will be building the prison.
The project he said will have two main stages: the main prison buildings and the administration blocks,
“We are looking at eight months for it to be completed so that will be July 2018 before the prison is opened.”
The total cost of the project is approximately 10 million, he said.
He also expressed his excitement about the impending move to Tanumalala not the least because of publicity around poor security in the past.
“We are happy that the work is in process and hopefully we can relocate to Tanumalala very soon to avoid the issues of prisoners escaping.”
Ulugia also pointed to increased prison staff with present numbers around 90.
“At the moment we also have 15 new staff recruits and they are undertaking training.
“We can’t wait to relocate to the new place,” he concluded.