14 Apr 2014

UNDP to pay Ha'apai cyclone victims to clean debris

7:17 am on 14 April 2014

The United Nations Development Programme has signed an agreement with the Tongan government to pay families in cyclone-hit Ha'apai to clean debris from affected areas.

The government of Tonga estimates total damages of almost 30-million-US dollars from Cyclone Ian, which caused significant damage to homes, infrastructure and agriculture in January.

The Deputy Resident Representative, Akiko Fujii, says the scheme, called Cash-For-Work, is hoped to speed up recovery efforts.

She says four months on from the disaster, many people are still living in tents and debris still needs cleaning up.

Ms Fujii says up to 1,500 people will take part in the project, and will go through a selection process.

"The local authorities have the relevant data and information which is to do with how much the house has been affected, also including the level of income and also the conditions that would require special assistance and therefore qualify for this project."

The UNDP's Akiko Fujii.