16 Oct 2003

New solid waste disposal scheme for Tonga's main island

11:25 am on 16 October 2003

To help it battle public health problems and pollution on its main island, Tonga is to get a new solid waste management system.

The aid agency, AusAID, is calling for tenders to construct a new waste management facility at Tapuhia on Tongatapu.

An environmental project team says only about 20-percent of Nuku'alofa is being serviced by a rubbish collection system.

And the acting chief inspector of public health, Foto Mausia, says there are a number of health problems stemming from the present dump site.

"There were lots of skin diseases, there was a lot of food poisoning, especially those people who came to visit the dumping area. This is where they earned their money by collecting empty cans and empty bottles from the dumping area."