NUKU’ALOFA-October 9: 12.10pm (R2R Media): The Tonga Ridge to Reef and Environment Department waste awareness team have completed the first phase of school visits around the Fanga’uta Lagoon Catchment area.
The team visited all government primary schools within the FLC from Popua to Navutoka.
It also visited four church schools at the same time.
The government schools visited were Popua, Ma’ufanga, Fasi, Ngeleia, Nuku’alofa, Fanga, Havelu, Pea, ‘Atele, Veitongo, Vaini, Longoteme, Folaha, Malapo, Holonga, Mu’a, Lapaha, Hoi, Nukuleka, Talafo’ou and Navutoka.
Church schools visited were Lavengamalie Primary School, Upper Room Primary School, Beulah Primary School and Hilliard Memorial Primary School.
The team held waste awareness presentations at the different schools and also presented rubbish bins to the different schools.
At the same time the team distributed information sheets and awareness materials on the R2R project, Fanga’uta Lagoon and quarterly newsletters.
There are plans to continue the awareness visits to other schools around the main island of Tongatapu.
R2R’s waste program co-ordinator Talita Helu said it was important to educate young children about the importance of managing waste and rubbish.
“That is very important because these kids will grow to become the future of Tonga and if they learn that early then we would have done our job,” she said.
“Children also can influence their parents.”
Environment waste officers Filimone Lapao’o and Suli Hufanga emphasised to students and teachers the importance of keeping within the laws that govern waste.
The law also prohibits the burning of rubbish.
The team also included Education Officer Alifeleti Fonua, who coordinated the visits with the Ministry of Education and the schools.
The R2R members were Technical Officer Petelo Otoota Tooa, National Information/Communication Officer Iliesa Tora and support staff Vivien Sika.
The school visits started in August and ended last week.