Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


$20 million in damage to Tonga’s agriculture and fisheries

Cyclone damage to Tonga’s agriculture and fisheries exceeds $20 million

Support needed to restore livelihoods after food crops, fruit trees and fishing gear destroyed by Tropical Cylcone Ian

Nuku´alofa, Tonga/Apia, Samoa, 4 March 2014 -- A joint report by Tonga’s Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Forests and Fisheries (MAFFF) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) has found that Tropical Cyclone Ian caused $20.6 million of damage and losses to Tonga’s agriculture and fisheries sectors.

The category 5 cyclone, which made landfall on January 11, caused near total damage to household food crops, fruit trees and fishing gear in the country’s Ha’apai island group. A total of 950 households have been affected. Recovery is expected to take up to two years, with an investment of $2.2 million required in the next few months to jump-start the process.

Cyclone damage has been particularly devastating to crops such as cassava and bananas, a staple food for all of the affected households. Fishing households have also been hard hit, with $1.3 million of damage to equipment, including boats, motors and fishing gear. The survey found that 100% of fishing gear had been damaged, meaning that even those households whose boats are intact cannot resume fishing. Trees were also damaged, affecting both food supply and household access to cash.

A multi-disciplinary team made up of representatives from MAFFF, the Fisheries National Council, FAO, MORDI Tonga Trust, Oxfam and the Tonga National Youth Congress conducted the damage survey.
Within two weeks following the cyclone, MAFFF began providing inputs from its own stocks to the islands, and has thus far , distributed sweet potato cuttings and corn seeds to more than 750 households, with additional assistance provided by the Government of New Zealand.

Other recovery actions include ploughing over 100 acres of farmland and town allotments, with around 40 acres planted with corn and sweet potato; the distribution of vegetable seeds jointly by the Ministry, Caritas and Tonga Community Development Trust to fifteen communities; and demonstrations in affected communities on healthy cooking using available food aid and local produce.

The Ministry continues to provide national-level leadership of the Food Security and Livelihoods cluster, in close consultation with the National Emergency Management Office, humanitarian stakeholders and development partners.

“The impact of Cyclone Ian has been devastating for the agricultural economy and livelihoods of people in Ha’apai,” said Sione Sangster Saulala, Minister for Agriculture and Food, Forests and Fisheries.
“The speed of initial recovery efforts has been commendable, but additional resources are needed to meet the food security needs of those in affected areas and to restore the livelihoods of hundreds of farming and fishing households.”

Gavin Wall, FAO sub-regional coordinator for the Pacific, said: “FAO, both in its capacity as lead agency of the Pacific Food Security Cluster and as a direct partner of the Ministry, was pleased to provide immediate support to the Government of Tonga. .Following three missions to assist with assessment and coordination, we are now focusing our efforts on working with the Ministry and partners to provide technical expertise for rehabilitation interventions that support recovery and build increased resilience for the future.”

Even with international assistance, total recovery is expected to take time. Surviving fruit-bearing trees will take up to two years to return to normal harvest levels, and newly planted trees to act as a barrier in future cyclones along coastal areas will take several more years to reach maturity.

Of particular importance is the replanting of pandanus and paper-mulberry trees, an economic and cultural mainstay of the islands, whose leaves are used to weave highly-prized mats and other crafts for local and international markets. The women of Ha’apai are renowned throughout the Pacific and beyond as some of the finest weavers in the region.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Joint Statement: Establishment Of NZ-China Strategic Partnership

At the invitation of Governor-General Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae and Prime Minister The Rt Hon John Key of New Zealand, President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China made a state visit to New Zealand from 19 to 21 November 2014.

During his visit, President Xi Jinping met with Governor-General Jerry Mateparae, and held talks with Prime Minister John Key. The leaders had an in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues of common interest. More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Savings Targets: Health Procurement Plan Changes Direction

Next steps in implementing DHB shared services programme Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says the Government has agreed to explore a proposal put forward by DHBs to move implementation of the shared services programme to a DHB-owned vehicle. More>>

ALSO:

More on Health Policy:

Auckland Unification: 'No IT Cost Blowout' (Just More Expensive)

Following discussion of an update on Auckland Council’s Information Services Transformational Programme at today’s Finance and Performance Committee, council has released the report publicly. More>>

ALSO:

Other Expensive Things:

Gordon Campbell: On The SAS Role Against Islamic State, And Podemos

Only 25% of the US bombing runs are even managing to locate IS targets worth bombing. As the NYT explains at length, this underlines the need for better on-the-ground intelligence to direct the air campaign to where the bad guys have holed up... More>>

ALSO:

Public Service: Commission Calls For Answers On Handling Of CERA Harassment

EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On Andrew Little’s Victory

So Andrew Little has won the leadership – by the narrowest possible margin – from Grant Robertson, and has already been depicted by commentators as being simultaneously (a) the creature of the trade unions and (b) the most centrist of the four candidates, which would be an interesting trick to see someone try in a game of Twister. More>>

ALSO:

China President Wishlists: Greens Welcome Xi, But Human Rights Need To Be On Agenda

“President Xi has made some progress on climate change, but he must also lift the Chinese government’s game on human rights issues,” Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said... It is important that our Government continues to urge the Chinese government to show restraint and respect human rights in both Tibet and the Xinjiang province.” More>>

ALSO:

Airport Security Breach: CAA Fines Minister

Minister Brownlee has been issued an infringement notice and is required to pay a $2000 infringement fine for breaching Civil Aviation Rule 19.357(b), which states no person may be in an airport security area without an appropriate identity card or document. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news