Tonga will implement a US$4 million project to improve access to water and increase income generation opportunities for local communities in Tongatapu, Ha’apai and Vava’u.
The project will be implemented under the Pacific Environment Community Fund, supported by the Government of Japan and coordinated by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, and the Asian Development Bank.
The project will involve the installation of solar powered water pumps and deep freezers.
“This funding will assist rural and remote communities to access water, fish storage facilities and other supplies in freezes powered by solar energy”, explained Tuiloma Neroni Slade, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. “It is an excellent example of partnership between the Government of Tonga, the Pacific Environment Community Fund, the Asian Development Bank and local communities to deliver practical hardware.”
The first component of the project will install 27 solar powered pumps across 23 villages in Vava’u with a total population of 8,730. Villages will be able to extract water without having to use a diesel generator which is expensive to operate and contributes to Tonga’s greenhouse gas emissions.
The second component will provide 36 solar powered deep freezers across the remote islands of Tongatapu, Ha’apai and Vava’u.
It is expected that 538 remote households with a total population of 2,642 will benefit from greater capacity to store fish, meat and other products in areas with limited energy supplies.
The PEC Fund is a commitment by the Government of Japan to provide ¥6.8billion (approximately US$66 million) to Forum Island Countries to tackle environmental issues. The fund is coordinated by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.