Makaha’a project shows positive growth

Coconut seedlings now growing on Makaha’a Island as Hoifua Aholahi inspects the site on January 24. Photo: ENVIRO NEWS

Nuku’alofa – January 27, 2020: 10.50am (Enviro News): The coconut and coastal plants planting project on Makaha’a Island, off the coast of Nuku’alofa, is showing positive growth.

The mangroves and terrestrial team from the Department of Environment visited the site on Friday, January 24 and returned with positive news.

“The plants are adapting well to the environment and growing,” team leader Hoifua Aholahi said.

“That is great as we wanted to see how the project will be after these past few months.”

A coastal plant growing amongst the grass on Makaha’a Island. Photo: ENVIRO NEWS

The team planted close to 100 coconut plants and 50 coastal plants in October last year.

This was part of a project aimed at stopping sand erosion on the island and use the project as a pilot for similar projects that could be implemented here.

Strong winds and storm surges during cyclones Sarai and Tino in December and early this month saw sand deposits covering the coastline where the trees are planted.

Hoifua said the team is liasing with the Tonga National Youth Council on a clean up campaign on the island.

Environment team members Petelo (LEFT) and Samuela during the inspection trip on January 24.

“That is the next step, to clean up the island because plastic bags and bottles have been deposited there, drifting from the mainland and maybe from those who throw them into the sea,” Hoifua added.

Makaha’a Island is situated behind Pangaimotu Island off the coast of Ma”ufanga here on Tongatapu.

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