Safe Haven from natural disasters officially launched at Falefa village


The hall built as a safe haven for the villagers of Falefa during natural disasters

APIA, SAMOA – TUESDAY 12 DECEMBER 2017: A Safe Haven project in the village of Falefa was officially launched last Friday. The project was funded through the Civil Society Support Programme (CSSP) under the Adaptation Fund Project currently being implemented by CSSP, MNRE and UNDP.

Through the scheme, communities are encouraged to apply for funding to implement small –scale adaptation initiatives and programs, such as projects that enhance the resilience of communities towards the impact of climate change. The funds for these village-based projects are coordinated by the Civil Society Support Program (CSSP).

Falefa is one of the successful applicants from the pre-selected districts under the Adaptation Funds Project who attended the Call for Proposal Awareness Workshop organised by the Government of Samoa in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through CSSP in May this year. With 41 applications received, only 21 were approved for funding and implementation.

The project proposal was to construct a hall as a safe haven for not only the village, but for neighbouring communities in times of natural disasters. Previously, the school building was used as an evacuation shelter during cyclones and other natural disasters. With the growing population of Falefa village, the Alii and Faipule committee saw that the existing school building would no longer accommodate the villagers during and the committee saw the AF Programme as a good opportunity for the extension of their safe haven.

Mrs. Theresa Masoe-Taimalelagi, [Programme Manager) CSSP in her remarks at the opening of the safe haven said, “This project is a fruit of your strong collaboration between the government and the communities  to  utilise  funding  opportunities  from  our  Development  Partners.  Your  perseverance during the application and implementation stages of the project has resulted in this building that will provide safety to the children who are the future of this village, but also to the community as a whole in the event of a natural disaster.”

Representative of the village, Fanualelei Tominiko Purcell stated, “Falefa is very grateful to both UNDP and CSSP for this opportunity, in which we have been awarded with this funding to implement this community development project.  At the same time contributing to help build community resilience to climate change impact”

There was a great turnout from the village committees (Aumaga ma Komiti a Tamaitai) including the Member of Parliament Afioga Alai’asa Sepulona Moananu who shared words of gratitude for the project for his community.

The hall is also used by the students during school hours

This is one of the 33 projects approved for implementation that are supported by UNDP under the Adaptation Fund Project Small Sub-Project component. This component is implemented under a partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and CSSP. For more information please contact the Civil Society Support Program on telephone number 24617 or via email or

Background on the project
The Adaptation Fund project, ‘Enhancing Resilience of Coastal Communities of Samoa to Climate Change’, was approved in March 2012 by the Adaptation Fund Board. The objective of the project is to strengthen the ability of Samoan communities and public services to make informed decisions and manage climate change-driven pressures, in a pro-active, integrated and strategic way.

This will be the second time for community-based organisations in Samoa will be able to receive assistance through the project. The opportunity is of vital importance for Samoa to deliver and to produce great results as a way of building resilience against climate change.