Feature

More Than 1000 Fijian Families Benefit From Housing Projects

The report stated that HHF had worked on building homes and hope through partnerships with Government, bilateral and non-profit organisations and international volunteers.
04 Oct 2019 16:39
More Than 1000 Fijian Families Benefit From Housing Projects
A house under construction by Habitat for Humanity Fiji volunteers.

More than 1400 families were assisted through the Habitat for Humanity Fiji (HHF) housing scheme in the rural and most remote islands in 2018.

This was revealed in the Habitat for Humanity Fiji 2018 Annual Report that was launched early this month.

The report stated that HHF had worked on building homes and hope through partnerships with Government, bilateral and non-profit organisations and international volunteers.

HHF director Masi Latianara said HHF has helped more than 4500 families through disaster response and over 2000 families in more than 55 communities through water and sanitation improvements and built over 1400 new houses to date.
Housing need in Fiji

“An estimated 140,000 people currently live in substandard housing conditions in informal settlements, and the number has increased by 5 per cent from 2007 to 2012. Poverty and inequality continue to be a challenge,” Mr Latianara said.

He said according to official statistics, 31 per cent of the population lives in poverty.

“The most vulnerable households also lack piped water, adequate sanitation, electricity and rubbish disposal in which we have stepped in to help.”

Habitat addressing the need

“Habitat for Humanity’s activities in Fiji range from new house construction to helping families rebuild after cyclones and other disasters to improving water and sanitation access in various communities.

“Habitat homes are typically built with a combination of locally supplied timber, concrete, and metal roofing. Families who partner with Habitat also contribute their own labour to build their new homes.”

Habitat for Humanity Fiji volunteers.

Habitat for Humanity Fiji volunteers.

Building resilient community projects

According to Mr Latianara, they were able to help disaster-hit families get back on their feet.

“Habitat works with donors and partners to increase local communities’ resilience.

“More than 1300 participants including women from over 260 communities have received Build Back Safer training, enabling them to assist other affected families to construct safer homes.

Habitat Fiji’s Build Back Safer programme won a certificate of merit and a US$15,000 (F$32,853) grant at the 2017 United Nations  Sasakawa Award for Disaster Risk Reduction.

“About 115 houses were constructed with the support of United Nations Development Fund, the Australian and New Zealand governments, International Organization for Migration, Shelter Cluster Fiji, the FIJI Water Foundation, Partner Housing Australasia and Habitat for Humanity Australia.”

Disaster Response

He said Habitat for Humanity Fiji forms part of the Pacific Task Force with Habitat Australia and Habitat New Zealand, helping families hit by disasters.

“In responding to 2016’s Cyclone Winston, Habitat exceeded its target by helping over 7000 affected families through the distribution of emergency shelter kits. In the recovery phase, programs include community training for water, sanitation and hygiene, cyclone retrofitting for homes, repairs and construction of houses, water and sanitation facilities, and “Build Back Safer” training.”

Volunteer engagement

“In the fiscal year ending June 30, 2018, Habitat Fiji hosted more than 1100 international volunteers under the Global Village program who helped construct 21 homes.

“A Canadian team kicked off the annual Habitat Young Leaders Build campaign, supported by long-term donor Aqua Pacific in Fiji, with a house build in Sabeto.”

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