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

Novopayout: Government-Owned Company To Take Over School Payroll

After lengthy negotiations, the Ministry of Education and the existing school payroll provider, Talent2, have settled both on the amounts payable by Talent2 towards the costs of remediating the Novopay service and a new operating model for the school payroll system.

The new model involves a new government-owned company taking over the operation of the payroll service, and Talent2 licensing the core Alesco software to that company.

The settlement provides for Talent2 to pay the Ministry between $18 million and $22 million, made up of $7 million in cash and other considerations including a license for the Alesco software and discounted fees for the support and maintenance of this software. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Gordon Campbell: On National’s Electorate Deals

For all the talk yesterday from Prime Minister John Key about National being transparent about its electorate deals in Epsom and Ohariu, that transparency is entirely front-loaded. More>>

ALSO:

Greens: Oil Drilling Face-Off With Labour

The key policy points in the Green Party’s plan to protect our beaches from oil spills are to:
1. Prohibit deep sea oil drilling; 2. Implement compulsory shipping lanes for coastal shipping; 3. Build Maritime New Zealand’s oil spill response capability; and 4. Introduce a stronger legal framework so that when accidents do happen, the New Zealand taxpayer does not have to pay for the clean-up. More>>

ALSO:


Nick Smith v Fish & Game:

Minister Told Of FBI Investigation, Says INZ: Coleman Must Quit Or Be Sacked Over Dotcom Case - Harré

Immigration New Zealand has done the right thing in distancing itself from Jonathan Coleman’s claims that ministers were not aware of FBI involvement in Kim Dotcom’s residency application, says the Internet Party. More>>

ALSO:

Valedictory Season: Maori Party Founders Say Goodbye

Two major Maori MPs gave there farewell speeches to Parliament Thursday outlining their history, experiences, triumphs and regrets. More>>

ALSO:

Resignation Not Accepted: Transport Minister Breaches Aviation Security Rules

"Running late for a plane at Christchurch Airport, I without thought breached airport and airline security rules by entering the gate lounge through a door usually used for exit only..." More>>

ALSO:

TAIC Report: Urgent Recommendations After Melling Rail Accident

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission has made four urgent recommendations to KiwiRail following the accident two months ago (27 May) when a Matangi passenger train collided with a stop block at Melling Station, Lower Hutt. More>>

ALSO:

Red Tape: Local Regulations Go Under Microscope

The Government says it is accepting nearly all of the recommendations the Productivity Commission has made on ways to improve local regulations. More>>

ALSO:

Spending Questions: Claudette Hauiti To Step Aside At Election

National Party President Peter Goodfellow confirms that he has received notification from List MP Claudette Hauiti that she plans to step aside at the 20 September election. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news