Drought warning for parts of Tonga

Drought warnings for Niuafo’ou and Niuatoputapu remain in force.

According to the Met Services, the drought warning is based on the amount of rain that has fell in the September, the rainfall trend over the last 3 months and the October rainfall to date.

Niuafo’ou, Niuatoputapu and Tongatapu had already been under drought warning from September with those islands experiencing below average rainfall particularly Niuafo’ou and Niuatoputapu which saw only 25% of their average month rainfall fall in September.

Niuatoputapu placed on drought alert

The remote island has received extremely low rainfall in the past three weeks.

There was only 1.0mm of rainfall recorded from the last week of August to 5 September 2021  

Tonga Met said there are also reports of water deficiency and drought conditions in the island that has shown impacts in water supplies and in most areas in the island.

Niuatoputapu connects to high-speed internet

Member of Parliament for the Niuas, Vatau Hui commissioned the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Satellite Project on the island Wednesday.

Niuatoputapu is now connected to much faster internet connection and emergency communications through a satellite type dubbed as VSAT (very small aperture terminal).

The newly installed VSAT at the Government’s Representative office, offers free and high-speed internet connection to the people of Niuatoputapu for the next 10 months with a speed of 20 megabit per second (20mbps).

Niuatoputapu gets $2 million to build new hospital

The contract for the construction was signed on Monday between the government and the Puloka Construction Group.

Kaniva News report the new project was organised after the old hospital was destroyed in the tsunami 2009.

Tongan Government plans to construct new hospital

Since then nothing has been done to replace the hospital. Currently all medical treatment is conducted in a classroom in Falehau, says Radio Tonga.

The Minister of Health, Dr Saia Piukala said government hopes to commence construction of the new hospital this year, with funding support from the European Union.

The Minister was briefed on the state of the health services in Niuatoputapu during the Royal Agricultural Show on the island.