Prime Minister launches rebuilding project

The Prime Minister Hon. Hu’akavameiliku has launched Government’s Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai Volcanic Eruption Tsunami Recovery Project for families who lost their houses during the January 15 volcanic eruptions and tsunami at Patangata here on Tongatapu on February 28, 2022.

The first phase of rebuilding will include five houses, three (3) in Patangata and one (1) each in Sopu and ‘Ahau.

The Ministry of Infrastructure will coordinate the construction of 468 houses that were damaged during the events of January 15, with 286 houses that will need to be rebuilt, while 182 were inflicted with some damages.

This includes 157 houses in Tongatapu, 36 in ‘Eua and 93 in Ha’apai.

An estimation of $34 million in damages to residential buildings and the government is focusing on “building back better”.

Government has options for house owners, with the first option being the building of a house that is 56.16 square metres, which includes the sitting room, bedroom, toilet and bathroom, foyer and water tanks, with connection to power and water supplies.

The second option is a house of 69.12 square metres in size built on poles of 2.2 metres high as an option for those living in low lying areas that are prone to flooding and water inundation during high tides or cyclones.

Government’s third option is for families who need a bigger house to build and finance by themselves while government assists with portions of financing the construction.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Infrastructure is continuing with the clearing of debris, repairs to the foreshores, beaches, roads, wharves and jetty, bridges, government offices and assisting with community halls needing assistance as part of the recovery work.