The new school building replaces the IA building, which was damaged by Tropical Cyclone Gita in 2018.
There are three classrooms and a storeroom, at a value of TOP$627,467.37
The construction was carried out under the Pacific Resilience Programme (PREP) project led by the Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment Climate Change and Communications (MEIDECC) and co-funded by the World Bank and the Australian Government.
It aims to contribute to the resilient and sustainable economic and social development of Tonga through strengthening: early warning; resilient investment; and financial protection.
The PREP project includes the retrofitting/repairing and reconstructing of school buildings which were damaged by Tropical Cyclone Gita that hit Tonga and ‘Eua in February 2018.
There are 25 schools in the project, building 33 new buildings and repairing 10.
It is a total of more than 110 classrooms in Tongatapu, ‘Eua and Vava’u and cost approximately TOP$28 million.
The Principal, Lolinitā Manuofetoa said, “I am humbled to see before us the result of the financial support of the government and donor partners.”
The SDA Mission President, Saia Vaea stated that, “After Gita, our IA building was in a rubble, we were in the dark feeling cold. Our journey was not pleasant. Today marks the completion of our new IA building, what seemed to be a mountain, is today being levelled. It is not by might, not by power but by the spirit of the Almighty. We cannot thank God enough for this help through the World Bank, Government of Australia and the Government of Tonga.”
Paula Ma’u, the CEO for MEIDECC reported that, “PREP is a Pacific regional programme, which aims at strengthening early warning and preparedness; resilient investments or build back better; and financial protection against disasters.” He described that, “This construction includes; a new building with 3 classrooms, which can accommodate 75 – 90 students. Two classrooms are separated by a sliding wall, which can be drawn to form one big classroom.”