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

 

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Mexico: Violence And Repression Of Teachers

The member organizations of Network for Peace express our indignation over the acts of repression that the Mexican State has carried out, through the police forces... In Chiapas, Guerrero and Oaxaca, the conflict has resulted in murders of teachers and civilians as well as hundreds of wounded and dozens of people arrested. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Britain's Pleas For Mercy

So… Boris Johnson is promising that he won't be holding a snap general election, if he's chosen as the next UK Conservative Party leader. Reportedly, he is even making that promise a feature of his leadership campaign, since a vote for Boris would therefore mean (wink wink) that his colleagues wouldn't have to risk their jobs and face the wrath of the British public until 2020. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news