New Zealand supports Tonga’s increased access to safe water and sanitation
Aotearoa New Zealand will contribute NZ$6 million (T$9 million) to support Tonga improve household and community access to safe and secure water supply and sanitation.
The Building Resilient Water Management System project — funded under New Zealand’s International Development Cooperation Programme — will be delivered through the Tonga Climate Change Trust Fund. This Fund is administered by the Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications (MEIDECC).
New Zealand’s funding will be earmarked under the Fund for the National Water Tank project and a new sanitation initiative for household latrines.
The National Water Tank project, managed by MEIDECC in partnership with local communities, aims to install water tanks in over 6,000 households throughout Tonga, targeting the most vulnerable in the community including the elderly, those with disabilities, women and children.
“Seven weeks on from the destructive volcanic eruption and tsunami that wrought havoc on the Kingdom of Tonga and its peoples on 15 January, this project will support Tonga’s efforts to build long-term, inter-generational resilience by delivering 1500 watertanks and 400 latrines to Tonga’s most vulnerable households,” New Zealand High Commissioner Tiffany Babington said.
The Government of Tonga’s Initial Damage Assessment of the volcanic eruption and tsunami impacts estimates 468 houses in low lying coastal areas have been destroyed or damaged, with over 300 household water and sanitation facilities damaged.
The installation of new water tanks and latrines will enable vulnerable groups to be more adaptive and resilient to climate change, through a community-driven approach where communities participates in needs assessment and design, and shares some cost, to promote local ownership.
“Tonga is grateful to New Zealand for this assistance and acknowledges its timely commencement. This project will contribute to increasing Tonga’s resilience, particularly assisting our vulnerable communities from the adverse impacts of climate change and natural disasters. We look forward to our continued partnership and future opportunities to support Tonga through its Climate Change Trust Fund”, said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of MEIDECC, Hon. Poasi Tei.
“As Polynesian whanau, Aotearoa New Zealand is committed to a deepening partnership with Tonga which supports its resilience, prosperity, stability and security” High Commissioner Babington said.