HFH Fiji and APTC collaborate to deliver Build Back Safer program
The Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) and Habitat for Humanity (HFH) Fiji are working together to deliver the Build Back Safer (BBS) program by constructing 20 safe low-cost houses in each of the Fiji sugar cane growing regions.
The HFH Fiji BBS program will train up to 400 community carpenters including farmers and homeowners from 27 communities on safer, simple yet effective construction techniques.
HFH Fiji National Director, Mr Masi Latianara said, “The aim of the BBS program is to multiply the effect of this training by bringing together communities who will then be available as an informal network to assist families in the reconstruction of their homes.”
“The BBS training culminates in the construction of a cyclone-resilient Habitat core house. This structure serves as a tangible model for the community members to be able to continue to learn from after the training. Each structure is accompanied by BBS billboards that reinforce the basic techniques taught in the training. All participants are provided with BBS booklets that comprise details on techniques taught in the 70 percent practical and 30 percent theory program. We are more than glad to partner with APTC in reaching out to vulnerable communities with this training program,” he added.
Under the partnership, HFH Fiji will identify suitable construction sites and house types in the sugar belt and APTC will provide training and administrative support.
APTC, funded by the Australian Government, delivers Australian skills and qualifications for a wide range of vocational careers across the Pacific region.
“Building demonstration houses will help people develop skills to construct safer dwellings, especially those rebuilding after TC Winston,” said APTC CEO, Ms Denise O’Brien.
The BBS program is an extension of the ongoing collaboration between APTC and HFH Fiji. Last year, the two institutions partnered to build 40 new shelters for families affected by Tropical Cyclone Winston, supported by the Australian Government and the European Union (EU) through its Training Support to the Fijian Sugarcane Industry Project.
The partnership also helped develop construction skills of 33 displaced workers from the Fiji Sugar Corporation Penang mill and family members of local sugarcane farmers through the Certificate II in Construction program.
“Partnering with DFAT and the APTC has proven highly effective in enhancing the capacities and skills of people in the sugar sector. This project is part of the longstanding assistance that the EU has been providing to the sugar sector in Fiji, worth about EUR 50 million to date. In addition, EUR 10 million have been committed in 2016 to help the agriculture and the sugar sector recovery after TC Winston. Forward looking, the 11th European Development Fund Fiji national programme includes an envelope of EUR 20 million to support the agriculture sector and sugar subsector reform,” said Christoph Wagner, Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation for the Pacific.
The BBS program commenced in May this year and the construction of the 20 low-cost buildings are expected to be completed by July.