INDEPENDENT NEWS

CWS appeals for Tonga after Cyclone Gita

Published: Wed 14 Feb 2018 03:02 PM
CWS appeals for Tonga after Cyclone Gita
Christian World Service has launched an appeal to assist Tongan communities affected by Cyclone Gita.
The category four storm hit Tongatapu and ‘Eua overnight on February 12 causing extensive damage. Power lines, trees and buildings including Parliament House were flattened by winds that reached 233 km/hour and heavy rain.
Authorities report 70% of the population have been affected. Most families are salvaging what they can and carrying out immediate repairs. Surface flooding is expected to clear, but the threat of Dengue fever remains. Root crops and fruit trees have been badly damaged or destroyed. Tongans are working hard to clear roads and restore infrastructure including power and water supply.
The Tongan Government declared a state of emergency in anticipation of the cyclone and the National Emergency Management Office (NEMO) is coordinating the response. The New Zealand government is helping to assess the situation and delivered the first relief supplies on 14 February.
“People will have food for the first days from their own supplies and fallen fruit but then will need help to get through. Shelter and safe water are major concerns. We want to make sure no one misses out,” says Pauline McKay from CWS.
CWS is working through the ACT Alliance (Action by Churches Together) of which it is a member and the Tonga National Council of Churches. In anticipation of the storm local churches opened halls and other buildings for those needing shelter. ACT Alliance will deploy a staff member to Tonga when flights to Tonga resume.
CWS long-term partner Tonga Community Development Trust has reported staff are safe and initially are looking after their families and neighbourhoods. CWS has helped prepare for such a disaster through its training programmes on disaster risk reduction with Ama Takiloa women’s groups and disaster preparedness with the National Emergency Management Office. CWS expects the Trust will assist in the recovery phase: the repair of rainwater harvesting systems and the reestablishment of home and community gardens – areas of particular expertise.
Rev Setaita Kinahoi Veikune, Director of Pasifika Ministries of the Methodist Church in New Zealand is encouraging support for families and communities. “The news over the last 48 hours has bought the cyclone devastation in the Pacific very close to home and to our hearts. Please make a generous donation,” she says.
The cyclone tracked through the low-lying islands of Ono-i-Lau and Vatoa in Fiji’s southern Lau group overnight on February 13. The clean-up continues in American Samoa and Samoa where Gita hit earlier as a category three storm.
Donations can be made:
•On line to the Cyclone Gita Appeal and by direct deposit
•By Phone with a credit card: 0800 74 73 72
•By Post to: CWS, PO Box 22652, Christchurch 8140
CWS is a member of ACT Alliance a global coalition of more than 145 churches and church-related organisations working together on humanitarian, development and advocacy in over 100 countries.

Next in World

Refugees in PNG being pushed to the brink, Amnesty says
By: RNZ
‘Unprecedented changes’ needed to limit global warming
By: United Nations
Joint statement on the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi
By: UK Government
Nauru Government shows continued callousness
By: Green Party
Oxfam plans to reach 100,000 people with basic aid
By: Oxfam
UN Human Rights Chief applauds Indian Supreme Court decision
By: UNHCHR
Australian and PNG leaders must act urgently to save lives
By: Amnesty International
UNFCCC Secretariat Welcomes IPCC’s Global Warming Report
By: UNFCCC
Climate change: Act now or pay a high price, says UN expert
By: United Nations
Next 12 years crucial to NZ climate change action - Shaw
By: BusinessDesk
Global warming: 'we now need to question ourselves'
By: RNZ
IPCC report ‘end of magical thinking’ about climate change
By: University of Canterbury
IPCC 1.5C report - Expert Reaction
By: Science Media Centre
International global warming report lays out the challenge
By: New Zealand Government
Weather station to help protect atoll nation
By: New Zealand Government
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media