18 Jul 2018

Tongans still waiting for cyclone relief

12:59 pm on 18 July 2018

The wait for assistance after Cyclone Gita is adding to the stress of Tongans who suffered losses in the February storm, an NGO says.

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Photo: Twitter / @femlinkmedia

Ma'a Fafine Moe Famili works with women and families but in the aftermath of the cyclone it targeted assistance at the elderly and those with disabilities.

The NGO has been allocated new funding to provide psychosocial support for people who are dealing with the loss of property and homes.

The organisation's president, Betty Hafoka-Blake, said it had been counselling about 200 families.

People were still waiting for help from the government and overseas relatives, she said.

"There's a lot of people that are not happy because of the great loss," Ms Hafoka-Blake said.

"The feeling of (being) depressed and anxiety is still with them because according to most of the clients we visited, they had never experienced such a cyclone."

The NGO was also focussed on disaster awareness because many people were unprepared for the cyclone, she said.

"Some of them didn't have any radio. Some didn't prepare enough water. Some, they didn't quite forecast how secure or how well their building would be.

"So we want to see how we can look into that, even foodstuffs, even lights. There were a lot of unprepared families."

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