Tonga to invest US$15 million to fix cyclone-damaged schools

Tonga's government is planning to invest over $US15 million into reconstruction of schools damaged by Tropical Cyclone Gita in February.

The government said 109 of Tonga's 150 schools were damaged affecting 23,000 students at all levels of education.

It has announced a strategy to repair, retrofit and reconstruct both government and non-government schools so they can return to normal for their students as soon as possible.

So far half a million US dollars has been spent on the repair of government schools and a relief grant of $US1.5 million has been given to non-government schools for minor repairs and fixing water and sanitation.

However the government hopes the bulk of the funding, $US13 million, will come from a request made to the World Bank to fund reconstruction and upgrading of the damaged school building stock, making the schools more resilient to future natural disasters.