About the Project
On Saturday 15th January 2022 the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano erupted violently triggering a tsunami, directly affecting coastal communities in Tongatapu, ‘Eua and Ha’apai. The tsunami reportedly had up to 10-meter-high waves which also impacted countries across the Pacific Rim. Approximately 3000 people evacuated to higher ground and found refuge in community halls, evacuation centers, and with family and friends. Tragically, four people were killed as a result of the disaster. The initial damage assessment conducted by NEMO and partners, identified and prioritized on a relief program to be based on severity of damages.
An area in Hihifo that was completely wiped out by the tsunami, homes that were destroyed now replaced by tents
Peace Wind Japan, an International NGO engaging on emergency humanitarian relief, reconstruction and development assistance around the world reached out to TCDT to provide emergency relief to the disaster in Tonga. Despite the immediate challenges posed by the breakdown in communication between Tonga and the outside world, limited sea and air transportation, and complications by covid-19 restrictions, a partnership was signed between PWJ and TCDT to respond to the needs of the people suffering from the situation.
Location: All areas in Tonga that are affected by the HTHH disaster
A boy sits helpless after his family home was destroyed by the Tsunami
Some of the affected people that the project reached are able to improve their living conditions through the provision of humanitarian assistance, containing essential food items, cooking equipment, cleaning and hygiene related tools.
A family sits awaiting relief, they lost all belongings when their beach house wiped out by tsunami waves, now only stems remain where the home was before
· PWJ volunteer staff purchased humanitarian relief items from Suva, Fiji. Based on the affected community updated needs list from TCDT, the humanitarian relief items were packed and shipped. These were 350 sets of family kits for affected households. 1 set would be given to each household of about 5-6 members.
· TCDT organized custom clearance, transfer and stored all relief items in a safe location ready for distribution.
· TCDT staff work with NEMO and village-leaders in the selected areas and seek their advice on beneficiaries for the relief items. Priority will be based on:
- Families with disabled or elderly members; families with a large number of members, households that haven’t received any support from other entities, and solo mother headed households.
· Follow the Tongan government covid-19 protocol in distributing relief items. TCDT work closely with the Town Officers in delivering the relief items to recipient households, fill up the beneficiary form, have it signed, and deliver the relief package.
Homes & vegetation in Kanokapolo barely standing after being destroyed by the tsunami
Timeframe: Feb – June 2022