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NEWS project to be implemented next month

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa ,21/06/2018

Discussions for the grant agreement for the Nationwide Early Warning System has been finalized and will begin implementation next month.

The grant agreement was signed this morning between the Japan International Cooperation Agency and the Government of Tonga, at the St George Government Building.

Signing from the Tongan Government was the Prime Minister – ‘Akilisi Pohiva, and the Resident Representative JICA Tonga Office, Shinji Yoshiura, on behalf of JICA.

The government of Japan committed a general grant of $2.8 billion Japanese yen (estimated $56 milion pa’anga) for this project and both governments signed the Exchange of Notes in Tokyo last month at the Eight Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting – PALM8.

In signing this grant agreement the project is expected to begin next month and is aimed at improving information transmission in the event of a disaster by establishing the wireless communication system called as Nationwide Early Warning System – NEWS.

This project includes the reconstruction of the Tonga Broadcasting Commission headquarters aiming at shortening the alert transmission of tsunami evacuation from 90 minutes to eight minutes and increasing the number of beneficiaries from 13,000 to 67,000.

The overall goal of this project is to save lives through the improvement of disaster information dissemination in the whole Kingdom.

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