19 May 2015

Tonga's drought-affected urged to conserve rainwater

7:27 am on 19 May 2015

The Tonga Metservice says it is critical for Tonga's smaller islands that the effects of an ongoing drought are mitigated.

The director of Meteorology in Tonga, Ofa Faanunu, says Tonga is coming into its dry season now, but has been experiencing drought conditions for eight months.

He says last year 80 percent of squash and pumpkin crops were destroyed by the drought, and water had to be shipped to Ha'apai and Vava'u.

Mr Faanunu says Eu'a is also experiencing water shortages, which the government is trying to respond to.

"A lot of livelihoods depend on rainfall. A lot of our smaller islands don't have ground water and depend entirely on rain water. So if for the next three months we continue to have drier than normal conditions, it will be critical for our smaller islands."

Ofa Faanunu says they are asking the public to collect as much rain water as possible, and not to be wasteful with it.