TC Winston

10 hardware retailer outlets announced for ‘Help for Homes Initiative’

Ten hardware retailers from around the country have been selected as shopping locations for the ‘Help for Homes Initiative’ recipients. Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Rosy Akbar said the government had called for expressions of interest to encourage competitive pricing from local hardware retailers to provide fixed prices of items that have been identified […]

PENI SHUTE AND ASHUTOSH SINGH

May 5, 2016 6:12 pm

Ten hardware retailers from around the country have been selected as shopping locations for the ‘Help for Homes Initiative’ recipients.

Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Hon. Rosy Akbar during a press conference this afternoon. (Peni Shute/Newswire)
Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Hon. Rosy Akbar during a press conference this afternoon. (Peni Shute/Newswire)

Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Rosy Akbar said the government had called for expressions of interest to encourage competitive pricing from local hardware retailers to provide fixed prices of items that have been identified as essentials for rebuilding homes.

AKBAR: “After a comprehensive selection process, 10 hardware retailers have now been selected as the exclusive shopping locations for the ‘Help for Homes’ recipients.”

“From the 22 expressions of interests received, I am pleased to announce that the following hardware retailers have been selected to proved building materials for the ‘Help for Homes’ recipients as announced.”

Minister Akbar announced the following hardware shops this afternoon:

  1. Carpenters Hardware
  2. Dayal Sawmillers Ltd
  3. CBS Power Solutions Fiji Ltd
  4. Vinod Patel & Co.Ltd
  5. R C Manubhai & Co.Ltd
  6. Rakiraki Hardware
  7. Local Woods and Hardware Ltd
  8. Kasabias Ltd
  9. Refrigeration Electrical Services Ltd
  10. Haroon’s Hardware

AKBAR: “The selected retailers have signed agreements where they have agreed to the prices to be provided and the terms and conditions of this initiative, should they fail to adhere to the terms and contracts of the agreements they have signed, their contracts will be terminated and discontinued as a supplier or retailer for the ‘Help for Homes’ initiative.”

Minister Akbar said recipients will be able to use the cards from Monday 9th of May, 2016.

AKBAR: “Only essential building materials can be purchased from this initiative and not white goods items.”

“The rollout of this initiative will start from tomorrow Friday 6th May and will continue till May 31st till everyone in the priority areas has been served. Any information pertinent to the initiative will be advertised in the local dailies and through the ongoing media announcements.”

“The Ministry has established centres at Suva, Tailevu, Naitasiri, Ba, Tavua, Ra, Lautoka, Bua, Cakaudrove and Taveuni.”

“We expect all the cards to be redeemed by June 30th 2016.”

Minister Akbar also thanked Vodafone Fiji for providing the cards free of charge.

The distribution of the ‘Help for Home Initiative’ electronic cards will begin from tomorrow until Saturday.

The Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Hon. Rosy Akbar (Peni Shute/Newswire).
The Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Hon. Rosy Akbar. (Peni Shute/Newswire).

Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Rosy Akbar said that they will be officially moving out to the communities issuing the e-cards that will be pre-loaded with the approved amount for applicants to receive assistance.

Minister Akbar said the main distribution centers for this week includes Suva, Tailevu, Naitasiri, Ba, Tavua, Ra, Lautoka, Bua, Cakaudrove and Taveuni.

More than 30,000 families across the affected areas are expected to be reached.

AKBAR: “The Ministry will be reaching out to more than 30,000 families across affected areas of Fiji. The households now registered in the Master List were identified by the National Disaster Management Officials, whose assessments categorised homes as either completely or partially destroyed.”

Minister Akbar said the amount on the electronic pre‑loaded cards which is similar to Vodafone’s M‑PAISA, will depend on the extent of the damage sustained to the recipients’ homes.

AKBAR: “There will be 2 forms used to seek assistance through the Help for Homes. One for registration and one for refund. These Forms will be available at all the Distribution Centres and also in Fiji Sun and through the Fijian Government/Ministry Website.”

Minister Akbar said community halls, churches, schools and those families who are renting a damaged home do not qualify under this initiative.

The initiative is for those whose household annual income falls below $50,000.

Recipients will be able to purchase the building materials from selected hardware outlets.

Minister Akbar has cautioned that under the recently enacted False Information Act 2016 there are very clear penalties “for anyone who would seek to unfairly benefit from this initiative”.

AKBAR: “The law will ensure that anyone found guilty of giving false information would face a penalty of up to 10 years in prison. Thus we expect a sense of honesty to prevail when people are applying for the assistance.”

The Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Hon. Rosy Akbar yesterday reminded Government officials implementing Government’s ‘Help for Homes’ initiative of the need to stay calm and patient.

As the assistance rolls out next Friday 6th May 2016, Government officials will be moving out to the communities implementing the initiative that includes issuing out e-cards that will be pre-loaded with the approved amount for applicants to receive assistance.

A participant speaking during the help for home initiative training yesterday. (Fijian Government)
A participant speaking during the help for home initiative training yesterday. (Fijian Government)

These cards will be used to purchase relief supplies from hardware stores that are approved by the Government following a tender process.

Opening the Team Skilling Program in Suva today, Minister Akbar emphasised the importance for officials to be mindful of the devastation the applicants have undergone following Cyclone Winston.

AKBAR: “The devastation on the ground remains very real and many Fijians are still suffering in the aftermath of Cyclone Winston.”

“Help for Homes gives immediate relief to affected families to begin the rebuilding process, by giving them the resources and the know-how to rebuild their homes back better and safer than before.”

The initiative begins by targeting the 12 priority areas that were most affected by the cyclone: Tailevu, Rakiraki, Tavua, Ba, Lautoka, Nadi, Yasawa, Vanuabalavu, Taveuni, Qamea, Yacata, Cakaudrove, Bua, Naitasiri and the Lomaiviti Group.

Participants at the help for home initiative training (Fijian Government)
Participants at the help for home initiative training (Fijian Government)

The government, through the Ministry, will be reaching out to more than 30,000 families across the affected areas who have been registered in a master list prepared by the National Disaster Management Office.

The amount on the electronic pre-loaded cards (similar to Vodafone’s M-PAISA) will depend on the extent of the damage sustained to the recipients’ homes:

  • homes with partial roofing damage will receive $1,500
  • homes with complete roofing damage will receive $3,000 and
  • homes that have been completely destroyed will receive $7,000.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama today announced a $70 million ‘Help for Homes’ initiative to provide financial assistance for homeowners to rebuild their homes after the devastation caused by tropical cyclone Winston.

PM Bainimarama visiting residents in Nadi yesterday. (DEPTFO).
PM Bainimarama visiting residents in Nadi yesterday. (DEPTFO).

For households whose annual income is less than $50,000, a prepaid electronic card would be provided to purchase building materials from hardware stores.

The amount on the card would depend on the amount of damage to people’s homes:

  • $1,500 limit for partial roofing damage.
  • $3,000 dollar limit for serious roofing damage
  • $7,000 dollar limit for almost or completely demolished homes.

PM Bainimarama said initiative was intended to help Fijians repair their homes themselves by giving them access to building materials.

“This, Ladies and Gentlemen, is not a hand-out, it is a leg-up.”

The cards would be issued by early May, and the funds are to be redeemed by June 30.

“There is an initial $70 million dollars available for this initiative. Of course, this amount can be revised depending on how many applications are received and how much donor assistance is provided.”

PM Bainimarama said individuals would not be restricted from purchasing from one hardware outlet.

“The cost of timber may be cheaper at one outlet and the cost of corrugated tin may be cheaper at another company. The cards will grant Fijians the flexibility to take advantage of the competition between hardware outlets.”

The Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation would distribute the cards from local distribution points to make it easier for recipients to collect and avoid long queues.

PM Bainimarama said the initiative put a lot of faith in the people of Fiji to use these resources as they are intended to be used.

“We are going to introduce legislation in the coming sitting of Parliament to impose special penalties, including jail terms, on any Fijian who tried to benefit personally from this crisis by making a false claim.”

According to Bainimarama, The National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) had identified those whose homes have been partially or severely damaged, and this would be used to verify the claims made by applicants.

“There may be others out there who haven’t had their properties officially assessed. These Fijians are also free to apply and will receive electronic cards if they have a genuine claim.”

PM Bainimarama added they would be calling for expressions of interest for hardware outlets to bid for the right to sell materials to the recipients of these cards. The successful hardware outlets would receive card reading machines and be open to all cardholders.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama yesterday visited Tavua and informed residents that he will make a major announcement this Saturday in relation to housing plans.

Prime Minister Hon. Voreqe Banimarama with the Tavua residents. (Fijian Government).
Prime Minister Hon. Voreqe Bainimarama with Tavua residents. (Fijian Government).

Prime Minister Bainimarama said the housing plan will be for those whose homes were damaged or destroyed during Tropical Cyclone Winston.

While speaking to about 60 residents of Balata, Malele, and Davota at Balata Primary School, PM Bainimarama said a lot of families remained in dire need of housing assistance, and Government was committed to responding to their need for safe and adequate shelter.

We have plans to rebuild homes. There is a responsibility for Government to build home for those whose homes were damaged by TC Winston.

For those whose homes were partly or fully damaged and don’t want to wait for Government assistance, I will make an announcement this Saturday about housing plans.

The head of government also listened to  concerns about water problems in the area and assured families that government will look into the issue.

Advisory councillor Balwant Singh thanked the Prime Minister for visiting them and assuring them of further assistance after TC Winston and the recent flooding in the wake of TC Zena.

Meanwhile, PM  Bainimarama also distributed about 1000 (cooked) food packs to the residents, donated by Laxmi Narayan Temple in Toorak, Suva.

PM Bainimarama will continue his tour of areas affected by the recent flooding in the West tomorrow

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