World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Disaster continues for cyclone hit communities in Tonga

27 January 2014

Disaster continues for cyclone hit communities in Tonga

The director of Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand, Julianne Hickey, says the disaster continues for communities in Tonga where lives and homes have been destroyed by Cyclone Ian. “The emergency isn’t over for people facing huge challenges as they start to recover and rebuild their lives.”

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is supporting Caritas Tonga to assist communities to recover and rebuild after Tropical Cyclone Ian devastated the Ha’apai islands of Tonga two weeks ago. It is estimated that 75 per cent of buildings in Ha’apai have been destroyed or have major damage, with crops, infrastructure and water supplies also having sustained significant damage.

Amelia Ma’afu, Caritas Tonga programmes coordinator, says providing a safe water supply is the top priority. “Drinking water is a major problem. Cyclone damage to the water supply has resulted in contamination, so people are advised not to drink piped water. Rainwater tanks which many people use have also been damaged.” Caritas Tonga is providing clean drinking water for 1,500 people in Ha’apai.

Volunteers from Caritas Tonga are helping to clean up and collect debris from damaged buildings and assist with the immediate repair of homes to provide temporary shelter for affected families. There are still over 2,335 people living in emergency in evacuation centres.

Caritas Tonga is leading the national trauma counselling response due to its experience and expertise in post-disaster psychosocial support and has deployed a team of trained counsellors to Ha’apai. “After our first debrief with 20 members of the community, it was clearly evident psycho-social support services are very much needed for the affected people in Ha’apai,” says Father Seluini ‘Akauola, head of the Caritas Tonga trauma counselling team. Mrs Hickey says exposure to a disaster impacts the social and psychological wellbeing of people. “Early support helps to recognise and reduce the impact of trauma, alleviate distress and strengthen resilience to start moving on.”

While current food aid is meeting immediate needs, there are concerns that food supplies will dwindle in the coming weeks as 75 per cent of food crops were destroyed by the cyclone. Caritas Tonga is working with the Government of Tonga to send a container of food to Ha’apai and will work with communities to replant gardens with early maturing food crops.

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand has so far provided $45,000 to Caritas Tonga which includes generous donations from the public and a $10,000 contribution from the Tindall Foundation.

Donations to the Caritas Pacific Cyclone Fund to support Caritas Tonga to assist cyclone response are being accepted by Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand.

Donations to Caritas can be made by:
Phoning 0800 22 10 22 to make credit card donations or
Donating online using a credit card at www.caritas.org.nz or
Posting to Caritas, PO Box 12193, Thorndon, Wellington 6144, New Zealand.

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is a member of Caritas Internationalis, a confederation of 165 Catholic aid, development and social justice agencies active in over 200 countries and territories.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Bangkok: International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, Biphophia

BMA, UN, embassy representatives, civil society and artists stand united with LGBTI Thais on International Day against Transphobia, Homophobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOT) at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre More>>

Displaced Iraqis Face Difficulties As Fighting Continues

UNHCR is concerned about the processing arrangements in place at the Bzabz bridge – a series of pontoons across the Euphrates River which marks the boundary between Anbar province and the capital, Baghdad. Photo: UNHCR/G. Ohara More>>

UNESCO Chief Condemns Killing Of Bangladeshi Blogger

Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz The head of the United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom worldwide today voiced ... More>>

Philadelphia: Train Crash

Five people have been confirmed dead and more than 136 people injured after an Amtrak train crashed in Philadelphia today at 9.20pm local time.More>>

UN News: Alarming Surge In Bay Of Bengal Crossings

The number of irregular migrants crossing the Bay of Bengal has almost doubled over the past year amid a dangerous uptick in human smuggling and trafficking across the region, according to a new report from the United Nations refugee agency. More>>


Pacific: 5 West Papuan Prisoners Granted Clemency/media Bans Lifted

5 West Papuan prisoners granted clemency/media bans lifted for foreign journalists wanting to visit West Papua. More>>

UN Deplores Deadly Attack On ‘blue Helmets’ In DR Congo

Martin Kobler, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the Democratic Republic of Congo (in suit) tells Tanzanian peacekeepers he strongly admires them despite the tragic loss of 2 comrades as they continue to actively protect the population. ... More>>

ALSO:

Liberia On The Way To Being Declared ‘Ebola Free'

Karin Landgren, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Liberia and Head of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), briefs the Security Council. UN Photo/Mark Garten More>>

ALSO:

UN Labour Agency Set To Ramp Up Operations In Nepal

A man in Goddamchour Lalitpur trying to clear debris from the first floor of his house, as communities look for ways to start rebuilding their lives after the powerful earthquake devastated Nepal. Photo: UNDP Nepal/Laxmi Prasad Ngakhusi More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news