PM commissioned Hahake Coastal protection, evacuation roads and meteorological equipment under CRSP

18th November 2019 The Prime Minister of Tonga Hon Dr Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa commissioned Hahake coastal protection, evacuation roads and meteorological equipment under MEIDECC’s Climate Resilience Sector Project (CRSP) today at Navutoka.

CRSP is the government’s first large scale climate resilient project, funded thorough a US$19.25 million grant from the Asian Development Bank with an additional US$2.5 million contribution from the Tongan Government, making it a US$23.13 million Project.

CEO for MEIDECC Mr Paula Ma’u said the project will complete at the end of this month after six years of negotiation, designing and implementation with the SMEC Limited of Australia as the project management unit.

“This foreshore is the final component of this project to be completed. It is 2.305 km long, which provides coastal protection for Navutoka and Manuka against storm surges and extreme weather events. The crest of the seawall is 2.7m above ground level. This allows 0.5m freeboards above high-water mark. The design included geotextile underlay. Construction included 3 boat ramps, picnic areas, landscaping and two boat trailers were procured to assist the local fishermen and communities to pull fishing boats in and out of the water easily in preparation for cyclone seasons.”

He said that based on scientific and engineering studies, if an earthquake were to occur at the Tonga Trench and a tsunami will be triggered, Navutoka, Manuka and its surrounding communities will be the worst affected.

The construction and rehabilitation of the evacuation and post disaster access roads provide an escape routes for areas vulnerable to flooding and tsunamis in Talafo’ou, Navutoka, Popua and Tufuvai, ‘Eua.

The meteorological equipment, coastal monitoring system and the installation of the automatic weather station (AWS) are expected to strengthen the capacity of Tonga Met Service to provide improved weather and marine forecasts and to develop improved meteorological and coastal data to enable effective planning for natural disasters.

Mr Ma’u said, “Commissioning of the Seawall, Evacuation roads, and the Meteorological equipment not only marked successful completion by CRSP, but also the beginning of a long journey for us all, to addressing the devastation of Climate Change in order to save the lives of our people and generation to come.”

CRSP KEY ACHIEVEMENTS

CRSP achievements include financing scholarships for 20 students to complete their undergraduate degrees at the University of the South Pacific. They will graduate next month with degrees in Environment Science/Marine Science. 20 government staff also received three-months training in climate change and 19 obtained TAFE certificates. They are now working at sectors relevant to climate change and disaster reductions. The project also funded 38 short courses for 1,200+ government and NGOs staff on climate and disaster risk management.

Backing the Climate Change Trust Fund through a US$5 million assistance where 74 community projects were approved, mostly for the construction of rainwater harvesting and evacuation centers.

Achievements also include the construction of the new Princess Fusipala Hospital for Ha’apai, construction or rehabilitated of five schools in Tongatapu, seven Special Management Areas were also established to provide communities with managed sustainable fishing at Vava’u and also mangrove coverage in Tonga has been established at 1,213Ha mainly on Tongatapu and Vava’u.

ENDS

Issued by the Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications.

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