Ha’atafu beachfront damage still visible

Part of the Ha’atafu beachfront on the Western Division of Tongatapu.
Photo: Iliesa Tora/Enviro News

Nuku’alofa – September 10, 2020: 9.10am (Enviro News): Damage caused by Cyclone Harold along the Ha’atafu beachfront are still visible.

Although nature has slowly started to regrow there is alot that still needs to be done.

The beachfront is a possible ‘beachfront monitoring site’ that is being looked at by the Department of Environment and the Pacific Environment Journalists Network.

Beachfront monitoring is a project that has been implemented in Australia and trialled at the Shangri-la Fijian Resort in Sigatoka, Fiji last year.

The project involves the installation of a simple phone base along the identified site where daily footage of the beachfront can be photographed and sent to a page that would store all the photographs for analysing.

Visible damage caused by the storm surges and waves that swept up the Ha’atafu beachfront during Cyclone Harold in March this year. Photo: Iliesa Tora/Enviro News

That data can be used to help monitor the changes that happens along the beachfront over a certain period of time and help in decision making on what could be done to help.

Ha’atafu and the Navutoka to Makaunga beachfronts are being identified here on Tongatapu as likely sites.

Beachfronts face daily threats from natural hazards and man made problems like rubbish dumping, as was seen on both the Navutoka to Makaunga stretch and the Ha’atafu beachfronts.

Markings showing the SMA zones on the Ha’atafu waters.
Photo: Iliesa Tora/Enviro News

The new projects are expected to be implemented by the end of the year or early 2021.

Meanwhile, the Ha’atafu waters is also part of the Special Management Area project implemented by the Environment and Fisheries departments on behalf of government.

The SMA is implemented to help manage and conserve marine resources in the area and other areas identified throughout the Kingdom.

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