08th November, 2018 The Tonga National Council of Churches (TNCC) handed over the Tonga Community Disaster Risk Management Project (TCDRM) to the National Emergency Management Office (NEMO) under the Ministry of MEIDECC at the Dr Moulton’s Hall this afternoon.
The community based project was funded by the United States Agency of International Development (USAID) for the past five years aiming to reduce the impact of natural disasters on vulnerable communities.
Minister for MEIDECC Hon Poasi Tei acknowledged the President of the Free Wesleyan Church Rev Dr ‘Ahio and those who worked diligently over the last five years to “produce this much awaited community plan to prepare and respond to natural disasters built on this overarching theme of resiliency.”
He said that although the damages brought by TC Gita were extensive, the response was swift and timely which echoes resilience before, during and after the cyclone.
“This is the cornerstone of government’s policy for natural disasters, to have a resilient Tonga no matter what and at all cost despite our lack of resources to withstand the devastation of natural disasters.”
Country Director of Peace Corp Tonga who represented USAID said that over 50 communities were involved in the project.
“While our help to Tonga can never meet the scale of many other donors, we do strongly believe projects that involve community members taking responsibility for their future preparation and response to potential disasters is exactly the type of work that resonates in Tonga.”
“I think back to the sheer amazement at the very community based response to Cyclone Gita, where I saw communities all over Tongatapu help themselves because that is what Tongans pride themselves in.”
CEOs for MEIDECC and MIA Mr. Paula Ma’u and Mr. ‘Onetoto ‘Anisi, Church leaders, Director of NEMO Mr. Leveni ‘Aho and guests also attended the programme.
Issued by the: Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications.