The construction of the new Savalalo Market is scheduled to begin in mid-2018.
General Manager of the Samoa Land Corporation, Ulugia Kavesi Petelo, confirmed this.
“Hopefully, somewhere in the middle of next year, we’ll see the beginning of the construction of Savalalo Market,” said Ulugia.
“New Zealand funds this project, meaning they handle everything.
“So challenges like the weather can delay the construction.
“The design of the market and the total cost is also not yet finalised from New Zealand but we gave them our suggestions about the building to reflect the Samoan house styles.”
The Minister of S.L.C., Lautafi Fio Purcell, said there are issues that need to be considered first.
“We are still looking at a very sustainable, long-term solution for vendors but the fact of the matter is that we can’t go on with the plan because the Waterfront Project is expected to start construction at the end of this year or the beginning of next year,” he said.
“As I’ve mentioned earlier, we don’t want to build the market and then end up having to move again after two months of construction.”
The budget 2017/2018 states the Apia Waterfront Development project is expected to commence construction next year and the New Zealand government is contributing $3.56m towards the project.
“The government has requested the government of New Zealand to start off the project from where the Savalalo Market stood. I believe they’re working on it now because this request needs to go through their Minister.”
Looking back, when the flea market in Apia burned down in mid-January last year, more than a few people also had to witness their livelihood go up in smoke.
With the support of the Samoa Land Corporation, a new temporary market was built.
Back then, each vendor was provided with a compensation of $1,000 by the government.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa told the vendors that about $5 million tala had been spent by the government for the vendors through the cash payments and the cost of erecting the temporary market.