Tonga

MEIDECC builds resilience to Meteorological Hazards through awareness in schools

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24th July, 2020 The Tonga Meteorological Services welcomed today, Class 6 science students from the Fasi-moe-afi Government Primary School (GPS) to one of its newest weather observatory sites at the Matatoa Automatic Weather Station (AWS). “This field from GPS Fasi-moe-afi class 6 science student is one of the school’s yearly dedicated curriculum activities that focuses on the science topic of Weather and Natural Disasters”, said Mrs. ‘Ilaise Taufa, the science teacher for class of GPS Fasi-moe-afi.

Following the Government priority to build resilience to the effects of climate change and extreme weather events, the Tonga Meteorological Services targets to bring awareness to schools in the Kingdom at all levels. “This field trip visit today, is one of many school visits that involves primary, secondary and tertiary levels. These engagements are opportunities for Government to educate the future of Tonga on weather and climate and how to respond to extreme events that always poses risks to livelihoods and safety every time they happen. Educating our younger generation early is vital for building that resilience for the future said the Deputy Director of the Tonga Meteorological Services, Mr. Laitia Fifita.

One of the highlights of today’s field trip was the introduction and explanation of the Matatoa AWS site and the associated meteorological instruments it holds to the science class of GPS Fasi-moe-afi. Explanations of the types and functions of each meteorological equipment in the observatory site was conveyed to the students and how they are being used to generate the daily weather forecasts for Tonga. Discussions, question and answer sessions were also part of this field trip in relation to the types of Natural Disasters that have or can possibly affect Tonga, such as Tropical Cyclones, Tsunami and Earthquakes, Volcanic Eruptions, Heavy Rain and Flash floods, Storm surges and other inter-related Natural Disasters/hazards that can affect our lives and properties.

The Director of the Tonga Meteorological Services, Mr. ‘Ofa Fa’anunu stated “Government has invested and is investing millions of dollars into building the resilience of the country at all levels, from building climate proof infrastructure to disaster response financing and improving of multi hazard early warnings Systems. An important component of any early warning system is the level of accuracy of response to any warnings given. We want early warnings to turn into early action to save lives and livelihood. Tonga is No2 in the world as the most vulnerable country so educating our young people is extremely important. It is also important that we inform students on the relevant career paths in the fields of geoscience science and meteorology as an investment for the continuity of this work in future generations.

The field trip involved 88 students in total.

ENDS

For further information please contact the: Meteorology Division on 35355 or metstaff@met.gov.to. More information is also available at www.met.gov.to