12 Mar 2010

More delays for cyclone-hit Tongan island

8:27 am on 12 March 2010

The person heading the reconstruction project on Tonga's tsunami-affected Niuatoputapu island says there's a number of reasons behind delays to resettling over a hundred familes.

Last September's tsunami displaced families and damaged the hospital, school-buildings, and the water-supply on Niuatoputapu.

The manager of the Government's tsunami recovery and management project, Peni Vea, says re-construction should begin at the end of the year.

"Part of it was the establishment of the office itself. Some funding has been pledged to us [from New Zealand, the EU and the World Bank]. But I think it's the slowness from our part, from the government's side. It's really [for us] try and get this initial works done that we can put it through the formal channel, so that funds can be transmitted to fund these projects."

Peni Vea says the fallout of ferry services, since the last remaining one was declared unfit to sail, is also part of the problem.