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Government urge District Committees to observe the $1m Project Guidelines

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, SAMOA – 15 FEBRUARY 2023: The Minister for Finance, Mulipola Anarosa Molio’o has emphasised that despite the time remaining for the $1 million District Development Projects, it does not mean overlooking the guidelines already set down for the project.

Mulipola was speaking at the disbursement of $150,000 each for five districts yesterday where she emphasized that time is of essence as it comes close to the end of the financial year.

“There have been a lot of consultation and delays, but the Government’s wish is for districts to follow the guidelines,” said Mulipola.

“We are running against time but we will not allow time to compromise the set out policies and guidelines for the project.”

The $1m District Development Project was supposed to allocate $1million tala for all 51 districts every year for 5 years. However, there have been a lot of delays and challenges along the way.

Such delays included the instalment of the Faatuatua ile Atua Samoa ua Tasi-FAST party as the official Government after the 2021 general elections, political influence mainly in the opposition districts rejecting the project and the COVID-19 lockdowns.

Mulipola acknowledged the challenges in trying to get the project going but with the challenges were also lessons learnt.

She commended the Government for the initiative to hand the project over to the districts and let them decide and implement their chosen development projects.

district - anoamaa
district - anoamaa

Opposition MP for Anoama’a No 1 and Chairman of District Project, Alai’asa Moefaauo Sepulona Moananu sign the latest funds paid under the project.

Five districts receive $150,000  
The five districts are Gagaifomauga No 3, Vaimauga No 3, Siumu, Anoama’a No 1 and Lefaga & Faleaseela.

The $150,000 is for operational cost including sitting allowances for 14 Committee Members, office operations and three staff salaries.

The next hand out will be $425,000 for projects already approved by the District Committees with the remaining $575,000 to be given out after all audited reports are handed over to the Ministry of Woman Community & Social Development (MWCSD)

For Siumu, the District Council Deputy Chairwoman, Atuatasi Katifa Faletoese Bryce said all four sub-villages of the district are waiting eagerly for the start of the project.

“We have received development plans from villages, churches, extended families and individuals and we welcome them all, but we are all waiting for the funds like the $425,000 we’re getting today to start the projects,” said Atuatasi.

Opposition Member of Parliament for Anoama’a No.1 who is also the Chairman of district project, Alai’asa Moefaauo Sepulona Moananu is also excited for what lies ahead for his district.

Although the $150,000 is for operational costs, he looks forward to the development projects of his districts 6 sub-villages.

“Priority is given to the villages so they decide which project to invest in, and the next round, we will look at funding of these individual projects,” said Alai’asa.