13 Apr 2005

Sea wall repairs in Tokelau a priority

3:59 pm on 13 April 2005

A UN-led assessment team says rebuilding the sea walls is the major job facing Tokelau following the destruction caused by cyclone Percy in February.

The cyclone severely damaged crops, buildings, infrastructure and the atolls' sea walls.

Tokelau's senior government official, Falani Aukuso, says he is in Wellington for discussions on the repairs needed and who will pay for them.

He says the UN team identified two critical areas.

"Sea walls is the number one priority that they did identify, coupled with an encouragement to (deal with ) the waste management problems, because it was really highlighted with all the debris and the rubbish being all over the three atolls. And finding a solution - how can we manage this."

Falani Aukuso says the UN team also has looked at construction methods to see if buildings can be made more cyclone proof and at the damage to food crops and to the atolls' marine resource.