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1million pa’anga for WASH Cluster

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 14/11/2018

The Australian High Commissioner to Tonga – H.E Andrew Ford has announced 1million pa’anga assistance towards the operations of the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene – WASH Cluster.

Live and Learn Tonga conducted a survey and identified that these areas need assistance because of their vulnerability to natural disasters.

H.E Andrew Ford says Australia is ready to assist Tonga anytime especially following devastations from natural disasters.

“Yesterday marked nine months since Tropical Cyclone Gita struck Tonga at Category 4 force. As we all know, the cyclone caused widespread destruction across Tongatapu, ‘Eua and other neighbouring islands, damaging homes, destroying infrastructure, and compromising community WASH systems. Even today it is clear that there is still a significant amount of recovery work yet to be done, including in community WASH. For this reason, I am very delighted to be here today at the launch of the ‘WASH’ Recovery and Resilience in Tonga initiative. For one, the initiative will ensure that community WASH systems are built back better. This means that these systems will be able to better withstand the next natural disaster that hits Tonga. And there will be a next time. Tonga currently ranks second on the World Disaster Risk Index.”

Meanwhile the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Live and Learn Tonga – Taniela Fusimalohi says there’s hope this project for assisting people living in the vulnerable areas will be a success.

“Between 2000 and 2015, the period in which the Millennial Development Goals were being disused by all the countries in the world was the fact that 25 percent of Tonga’s population are living in hardship. What is significant about this number is it hasn’t changed over time. But what was striking at the time was the fact that this 25 percent is the most vulnerable. They are the ones to suffer the consequences of natural disasters. They are the ones vulnerable to the health problems that we have. At the same time, they are the very first ones to destroy the environment. They are the very first ones to suffer the effects of climate change.”

Wash Cluster is currently assisting the villages in the Eastern Side of Tongatapu and ‘Eua after they were being flagged as the most vulnerable areas to natural disasters such as tropical cyclones.

© Radio and Television Tonga News