28 Apr 2015

Work starts on schools in Tonga's Ha'apai

7:16 am on 28 April 2015

The reconstruction and renovation of primary schools in the Tongan islands of Ha'apai has finally begun more than a year after Cyclone Ian devastated the area.

Radio Tonga reports that contracts on the Cyclone Ian Recovery Project have been signed between the Ministry of Infrastructure and three selected contractors.

The US$10.7 million US dollar project will support the reconstruction, renovation, and climate-and disaster-proofing of schools that were damaged.

Project Coordinator Ana Bing Fonua says the main construction will improve buildings like classrooms and staff quarters while providing water and sanitation facilities for schools and installing fixtures and furniture.

The Ministry of Education and Training is working with the New Zealand government and the Asian Development Bank on a contract for five remaining schools not yet covered.

Work is expected to be completed by the end of this school year.

Houses are still badly damaged months after Cyclone Ian.

Houses remained badly damaged months after Cyclone Ian Photo: Richard Small