MACAO—When Typhoon Hato pummeled Macao in late August, the Coloane shoreline was among the first areas to face the devastating intensity of the storm. As a result, many of the homes near the shore were either completely destroyed, or suffered extensive damage, creating difficult or impossible living conditions for its residents.
As the entirety of the Macao community—from residents and organizations to businesses and government—worked together to support each other in the aftermath, Sands China’s relief efforts included coming to the assistance of the residents of those Coloane homes battered by the storm.
With the support and coordination of the Housing Bureau, a group of Sands China team members took the initiative to organize a project to repair the affected Coloane homes. After enlisting the help of three local construction companies—Min Da Construction & Engineering Company Limited, Tong Lei Engineering & Construction Co. Ltd, and Circle Engineering Company Ltd.—they offered assistance to the residents of Navegantes Street and Lai Chi Vun, and got to work on renovating the damaged homes.
A Team Effort
“Sands China is grateful to the local construction companies and suppliers who worked with our team members on this project,” said Dr. Wilfred Wong, President of Sands China Ltd. “Their support was instrumental in helping these residents return to their homes. We are also very thankful for the coordination work of the Coloane Welfare Association of Son I and the Association of Residents of Lai Chi Vun as well as for the overall support and coordination of the Housing Bureau.”
In all, 22 homes were repaired. Among them were three metal-structure homes on Navegantes Street, which were totally destroyed and had to be completely reconstructed. That project lasted for approximately a month and half, yielding excellent results—in both the reconstruction of the homes and the revitalizing of the homeowners’ spirits. For the remaining 19 homes on Navegantes Street and in Lai Chi Vun, repair work included roofs, walls, doors, windows, wiring, and water leaks.
“I was so devastated when my home was wiped out by the typhoon,” said homeowner Ip Kam Fa. “But now, I’m so excited to have a new home to return to. I feel very touched by the assistance and support from Sands China in repairing my home.”
Loi Sai Mui, Managing Director of the Association of Residents of Lai Chi Vun, said: “My heartfelt gratitude goes out to Sands China for sending a team to help our Lai Chi Vun residents. They gave immediate assistance to the affected families to repair their damaged homes, and the residents were so happy to have their homes restored.”
Assistance ‘Something We Will Never Forget’
One of the Lai Chi Vun residents, Kwok Va Im, said that he and his fellow residents faced extremely tough conditions after Typhoon Hato ripped through their neighborhood. He described the good fortune of having the Housing Bureau and Sands China provide timely assistance as a “lifesaver,” and said: “My family and I are immensely grateful for this help. It is something we will never forget.”
Sands China Ltd. considers it to be its corporate social responsibility to help the community recover after a natural disaster such as Typhoon Hato. The company’s relief efforts in the community began in the immediate aftermath of the storm and remain ongoing, with some projects expected to carry forward into next year.
Relief efforts have included clearing storm debris from public areas, food and water delivery to needy families, support to local SME suppliers in the form of expedited and advance payments, repairs to homes and buildings, and the purchasing and renting of shuttle buses for nongovernmental organizations to minimize service interruptions for their users, among many other assistance efforts. In addition, Sands China has pledged to donate funds to support Macao’s typhoon disaster relief, with additional aid pledged by the Adelson Family Foundation.
The company’s community work is part of Sands Cares, the global corporate citizenship program of parent company Las Vegas Sands Corp.