Water testing team complete island surveys

NUKU’ALOFA-March 7, 2018: 3.45pm (Environment News): The Department of Environment, in partnership with other members of the Health, Nutrition and Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (HNWASH a.k.a WASH) team have completed water quality testing and survey on the islands of Tongatapu and ‘Eua following the devastation caused by Cyclone Gita.

Led by the Ministry of Health’s Public Health Unit, the team conducted tests around the different communities on the main island, testing all drinking water sources, including water tanks (stores rain water), bore holes, creeks/streams and the main government water supply systems.

Environment officer Penikoni Alea’amotua and Health on the field in Kolomotu’a during water testing rounds after Cyclone Gita. Photo: ENVIRONMENT

Cyclone Gita had hit the two islands on February 12, damaging infrastructure and houses.

Heavy rain and the ensuing flooding were major concerns to authorities as these directly affected water sources around the two islands.

Environment Department officer Penikoni Alea’amotua said the different teams have completed their work, with the Tongatapu results already given to authorities, including the National Emergency Management Office (NEMO).

‘Eua results are being finalised.

NEMO yesterday stated in their update on the Cyclone Gita recovery works that water quality testing and monitoring showed water is safe for consumption.

The Tonga Ridge to Reef Project had played a major role in initiating moves to have a Water Testing Manual for Tonga, which was funded by the UNDP through GEF.

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