Mangroves to help communities in the West

NUKU’ALOFA – July 18, 2018: 12.20pm (Enviro News): Three communities in the Western Division of Tongatapu will receive assistance on mangrove planting along their waterfront soon, thanks to funding received through ‘The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH or GIZ.

The GIZ  is a German development agency that is working with the Climate Change Division of the Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications (MEIDECC), in collaboration with the Department of Environment here in Tonga.

Part of the Climate Change project is the replanting of mangroves along the waterfronts of villages identified.

This is part of the site at Kolovai village where planting will take place. Photo: ENVIRO NEWS

The villages are Kolovai, ‘Ahau and Kanokupolu.

Mangrove specialist Hoifua Aholotu, from the Department of Environment, is working with the Climate Change team on the project.

Mr Aholahi and a team from the DoE visited the sites yesterday and also had the opportunity to inspect projects in Te’ekiu and Nukunuku.

“This is a very important project,” Mr Aholahi said.

“It is critical for the communities to have mangroves growing along the waterfront to stop sea water from getting inland and also stop soil erosion in these areas.

“At the same time this will ensure that marine resources are maintained for the continuing livelihood of local community members.”

Part of the project is the construction of three nurseries in Ahau and Kolovai.

Mangrove seedlings are expected to be nurtured at the nurseries while other seedlings will be secured from the Popua Mangrove Nursery set up during the Pacific Ridge to Reef project.

Planting is expected to start soon.

Meanwhile, the team also visited sites at Te’ekiu and Nukunuku village.

Both sites recorded healthy growing mangroves.

The Tekiu site was planted by members of the community following soil erosion as a result of seawater sipping inland.

At the Nukunuku site the mangroves were planted over 20 years ago.

The site is now covered with healthy growing mangroves – forming a protective wall around the village waterfront.

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