Drought conditions in Tonga islands

The island did not receive the expected rain during the wet season and Tonga Met Services has issued a drought warning.

Rainfall in Niuafo’ou in the past six months have been below average.

According to Tonga Met Services, these conditions are expected to continue until at least July.

A drought alert has been issued for Niautoputapu, Vava’u and Ha’apai.

The Tonga Met Services said rainfall has been somewhat chaotic fluctuating between below average and above average in the past three months.

New power plants bring local jobs, and reliable energy to the Ha’apai and Niua islands

The Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Climate Change and Communications (MEIDECC) has signed a NZ$15 million contract for the project with Joint Venture partners, Infratec and its sister company NETcon.

The New Zealand based companies will engineer, procure and commission renewable energy power plants and distribution networks to deliver power to homes and community buildings on each of the islands, to be completed by mid-2022.

20 Tongan households damaged by Cyclone Ian in 2014 need assistance

Governor Rev Dr Mohenoa Puloka said these houses were damaged during the cyclone and now they still need the assistance, claiming the government only gave the victims of Ian materials for reconstruction such as corrugated iron.

However, the people of Ha’apai learned to cope with the impacts following Ian and started rebuilding their community halls, schools and even the hospital with assistance from the Government and foreign donors.

Ha’apai faces fuel shortage

Radio Tonga reports petrol and diesel are the two most important products for the people of Ha’apai especially for transportation inland and the outer islands.

The island reportedly ran out petrol last week and then diesel on Monday.

The Ministry of Fisheries has confirmed the vessels weren’t able to reach the island to deliver the much-needed petrol and diesel because of bad weather,


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Digicel Launches Microwave Connectivity to Ha’apai and Vava’u

The islands will now enjoy 5 times faster internet speeds as a result of moving from satellite to microwave connectivity providing superior and unmatched mobile and home broadband experience the same as fibre.

Australian HC inspects disaster relief operations on Ha’apai

The operations were carried out under Tropic Twilight in a joint operation by the Defence Forces of Tonga, New Zealand, USA, France, Australia and China over the past 3 weeks.

Tropic Twilight is an annual joint exercise, led by the New Zealand Defence Force to conduct humanitarian efforts focused on disaster relief.

Tonga's Ha'apai still in need of water tanks

RNZ reports the Defence Force is in Tonga to lead the humanitarian and disaster relief exercise Tropic Twilight which includes engineers from Tonga, China, and The United States.

Lieutenant Colonel Josh Wineera said the Ha'apai group was devastated by the cyclone and water installation is a much needed requirement.

"There's a number of community halls and churches where we've been able to use our engineers to bring in and just assistance with some of those plumbing and some of those engineering type tasks."

NZDF-LED task group launches construction projects in Tonga

Lieutenant Colonel Josh Wineera, NZDF Task Force Commander and Senior National Officer, said construction work being undertaken as part of Exercise Tropic Twilight 2016 was well underway in Lifuka and Foa.

Rebuilt homes in Tonga may be demolished again

Many homes on Ha'apai were destroyed when the topical cyclone hit the island in January.

The Governor of Ha'apai, Mo'ale Finau, believes as many as 300 homes have already been re-built under a reconstruction project funded by the Government and World Bank.

But he says in Parliament yesterday it was revealed that about 15 homeowners have been told their houses have to be demolished because they were not supposed to be built.

Tongan weavers tap into traditional practices

Weavers from the islands of Ha'apai in Tonga are learning a traditional weaving technique unique to the country, with the hope it will help them earn a better living.

The Mosikaka technique is used to make baskets for the royal family.

The South Pacific Tourism Organisation says the aims is to empower the women of Ha'apai, whose people are still recovering from the effects of Cyclone Ian.

It's chief executive, Ilisoni Vuidreketi, says the 15 women undergoing training rely on selling their mats for income and it will they can market their goods to tourists.