22nd May, 2020 TONGAN The Ministry of Infrastructure and Tourism is pleased to announce the completion and handover of six (6) new houses, constructed under the Government’s Cyclone Gita Recovery Project. Cyclone Gita caused widespread damage and loss to homes throughout Tongatapu and ‘Eua, in February 2018.
Tonga’s Prime Minister, the Hon. Rev. Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa was the guest of honour at the house handover ceremonies on 16 May, 2020. He handed over house keys to the six recipients and their very grateful families. They were Tevita Moala of Tatakamotonga, Sione Keti of Lavengatonga, ‘Akimoana Kaufana of Ngele’ia, Sione Fine of ‘Anana, Siaosi ‘Amanoni of Ngele’ia, and ‘Isileli Vaea of ‘Eua. Five of the new houses are located in Tongatapu, and one in ‘Eua.
The Prime Minister spoke at the ceremonies, saying that it had only been seven months since the new Government started, yet seventeen (17) new houses had been completed. He expressed his hope that the process for the construction of the new homes could be amended to allow for new contractors. This would lessen the waiting time for those affected by the cyclone. He also said that new weekly and monthly targets would be set, to encourage even more successful outcomes.
The Hon. ‘Akosita Havili Lavulavu, Minister for Infrastructure and Tourism was also present at the ceremonies. The Hon. Minister thanked the Ministry’s Acting CEO, Mr. Lopeti Heimuli and his team, for achieving their targets with the new house completions. Many of the attendants at the ceremonies expressed their warm gratitude and happiness with the work which had been done.
In the aftermath of Cyclone Gita in 2018, the Tonga Statistics Department conducted a survey of the damage, with the financial assistance of the World Bank. The survey found that 8,247 homes had been affected. Of this, 561 had been destroyed completely, 1,145 had sustained major damage, while 6,541 sustained only minor damage.
This was the fourth lot of houses to be officially completed and handed over by the Government, totaling 17 houses altogether. The Ministry expects the house construction project to continue being on target, for the people of Tonga.
For further information or related enquiries, please contact the office of the Acting CEO for Infrastructure, Mr. Lopeti Heimuli, on 23100 or 7401500.
Issued by the: MINISTRY OF INFRASTRUCTURE, ‘Alaivahamama’o Bypass Road, Fanga ‘o Pilolevu, Tonga. Tel: +(676) 7401500 Fax. +(676) 25440 email: email@example.com