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

 

Extended Cease Fire: Gaza Celebrates!!!!

Images and video from Gaza.Scoop - Julie Webb Pullman in Gaza. Gazans took to the streets tonight to celebrate their victory in achieving the end of hostilities and the lifting of the illegal seven-year siege. Whatever tomorrow may bring, tonight was a time to rejoice! More>>

ALSO:

Iraq: Killing Of Dozens Of Sunni Worshippers In Eastern Iraq

22 August 2014 – Condemning in the strongest terms the reported attack on a mosque in eastern Iraq, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on all Iraqi authorities to ensure that the attack is properly investigated and its perpetrators held to account. More>>

ALSO:

.

UNICEFHonours Life, Tireless Work Of Richard Attenborough

Film producer and director Sir Richard Attenborough was introduced as the new Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) on 28 October 1987. UN Photo/Milton Grant More>>

UN: Flight Restrictions Hamper Ability To Battle Ebola

UNICEF and partners visit a crowded market in Conakry, Guinea, to explain to vendors how they can protect themselves and their families from Ebola. Photo: UNICEF Guinea More>>

New Species: Scientists Honour Bruno Manser On His 60th Birthday

(BERN / SWITZERLAND) A team of Swiss scientists honour missing rainforest advocate Bruno Manser with the announcement of the discovery of two new animal species in the tropical rainforests of Borneo. This was announced today by the Natural History ... More>>

Iraq: UN Condemns Murder Of American Journalist

The United Nations Security Council today strongly condemned the “heinous and cowardly” murder of James Foley, an American journalist, by the militant group Islamic State (IS) and demanded the immediate, safe and unconditional release of all other hostages. More>>

ALSO:

UN:Final Member On Panel To Investigate Gaza Violations

Civilians caught in the crossfire in Gaza have suffered debilitating injuries. Photo: UNRWA Archives/Rami al Sayyed More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news