17 Jul 2014

Tonga's deputy PM wants Ha'apai to support itself

6:43 am on 17 July 2014

Tonga's Deputy Prime Minister says it's time the people of Ha'apai stand on their own feet rather than relying on assistance from others.

Samiu Vaipulu told Radio Tonga that it's almost seven months since Tropical cyclone Ian battered the island and the people must try to support themselves.

He says the government has given them assistance of around US$218,000 dollars towards temporary shelter, clothing, water and food.

He says the community has also been provided with seedlings to ensure food security.

Samiu Vaipulu says further requests to assist the people of Ha'apai are not wise as the government has run out of supplies.

However the chief executive officer of the Ministry of Agriculture, Losaline Ma'asi, says they raised the needs of Ha'apai to the deputy prime minister because many people there are asking for basics like flour and rice.