Acting Prime Minister, Hon. Poasi Tei launches Niuafo’ou Water Tank Project

Group photo: Acting Prime Minister and Minister for MEIDECC, Hon. Poasi Tei, CEO for MEIDECC, Mr. Paula Ma’u, Niua 17 Representative, MP, Mr. Vatau Hui,  Niua Government Representative, Mr. Bob Taylor , Niuafo’ou High School Principal, Ms. Losaline Taufalele and Director for Climate Change, Ms. Lu’isa Tu’I’afitu Malolo.

On the 30th of June, 2022, the Acting Prime Minister (DPM) for Tonga and Minister for MEIDECC Hon. Poasi Mataele Tei, Government Representative for Niua 17, Mr. Vatau Hui, and CEO for MEIDECC, Mr. Paula Ma’u commissioned the Niuafo’ou Water Tank Project (NWTP) in ‘Esia.

The NWTP has been co-funded by New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Tindall Foundation worth NZ$565,000. The island of Niuafo’ou has benefited from a total of 168 water tanks, which are then distributed to a total of 9 communities, 3 Government schools, and government buildings.

Niuafo’ou Representative, Mr. Vatau Hui (left) and the Acting Prime Minister and Minister for MEIDECC, Hon. Poasi Tei during the unveiling program.

The Government representative of Niuafo’ou, Mr. Bob Taylor extended a warm welcome to the Guest of Honour, Hon. Poasi Mataele Tei and its delegation team.

“On behalf of all the Niuafo’ou from the farthest island, also known as the Tin Can Mail we humbly welcome the Guest of Honour and his delegations from Tongatapu”

Water tank installed at the Free Church of Tonga in Tongamama’o with Rev. Tei ‘Utumoengalu standing third from left and Rev. Hika Lavalu.

“To solve the problem with Niuafo’ou facing with water shortages due to climate change we express our sincere gratitude to the Government of New Zealand and Tindall Foundation for their support”, mentioned the DPM, Hon. Poasi Tei.

The Principal of Niuafo’ou High School, Ms. Losaline Taufalele also thanked H.E Matt Howell, New Zealand High Commissioner to Tonga for their country’s generosity through your Office and MEIDECC reached out in a form of water tanks.

Town Officer in Mu’a, Mr. Tevita Taufa’ao with his two sons after the installation of their water tank.

“Your Excellency’s words itself are limited to express how deeply grateful we are as what seems like a dream is becoming a reality.”

The people of Niuafo’ou are very vulnerable to drought and in addition to their isolation from the main island and the provision of core services by the government. Giving them the chance to access clean drinking water. The water tank project has been a step forward in the development of this island group.

The Water tanks project was launched in a ceremony at Government House. The Ministry of MEIDECC’s Department of Climate continues to seek more projects to facilitate the needs of the Niuafo’ou people.