20 Oct 2009

Habitat for Humanity says hundreds have offered to help build houses in Samoa

8:32 pm on 20 October 2009

Habitat for Humanity in New Zealand says over 500 people have volunteered for the re-building effort in Samoa.

The Samoa Government has resolved to pay for the rebuilding of about 600 homes that were destroyed by the tsunami, with work to begin by the end of this week.

David Lawson, with New Zealand's Habitat for Humanity organisation, says they are negotiating with the government in Samoa to be part of the re-building.

He says they are looking at setting up a building centre along the south coast of Upolu.

"We've actually had over 500 enquiries from builders and tradespeople who are willing to go to Samoa and so we're just co-ordinating all that at the moment on a spreadsheet so that perhaps next week when we're ready to go we can call on groups of 20 people at a time to go up and those twenty people will be working alongside the Samoan people. It's not just the Kiwis doing the building, we will be working with the villagers themselves in the reconstruction process."

David Lawson says the fales they are planning to build will be permanent houses but will be able to be extended if needed.