Basic needs and building materials delivered to Tonga

May 4, 2022

On 15 January, 2022, the Pacific Island nation of Tonga was hit by a devastating tsunami triggered by an undersea volanic eruption. Three lives were lost, and damage from the tsunami and volcanic ash caused affected Islanders to be evacuated to the main island of Tongatapu, and the airport to be temporarily unusable. Many lost homes and livelihoods. Emergency response efforts were then hampered by an outbreak of COVID-19 which spread through the country after the arrival of international ships carrying emergency supplies.

Funds raised through AID’s Tonga Tsunami Emergency Appeal are contributing to a wide-ranging response and recovery program in Tonga run by the Anglican Diocese of Polynesia. The diocese has already distributed supplies that were pre-positioned in four different locations on Tongatapu before the tsunami, and has distributed further supplies that were shipped in from Fiji and New Zealand after the terrible events of 15 January 2022. Those supplies included food, water, and shelter kits, four generators, four chainsaw kits, hand tools, repair kits and family hygiene kits, water blasters to clear ash, children’s education materials, cleaning equipment, COVID-19 safety equipment, and materials for re-building. 5,000 people were estimated to have benefited from the distributions.

Now work has begun on the recovery phase. This phase includes rebuilding schools and houses, repairing and installing water tanks, psycho-social support (especially to children traumatised by the tsunami), strengthening the livelihoods of those affected, and working with communities to prepare for future disasters. Support for livelihoods is mainly in the form of replenishing lost livestock and repairing damaged animal pens and fences. It also includes organising training sessions on sustainable farming and fish harvesting, and distributing seedlings and organic fertilisers for home gardens.

ABM’s Anglicans in Development wishes to thank its generous supporters for their donations of more than $50,000 for this appeal.