Domestic rainwater tanks in Tonga are often contaminated and the water can be unsafe to drink.
Matangi Tonga reports that is the finding of a recent study which showed that if tanks are not managed and cleaned regularly the water is often contaminated with E.coli.
The study was compiled by the Ministries of Health and Lands and Natural Resources with the aid of the Asian Development Bank.
Results have shown that sanitation and hygiene practices must improve with the study making clear that the only houses with tank water free of E. coli were those that had been disinfected as part of post-disaster activities in 2022.
The Tonga government has issued its "Guide to Safe Rainwater Harvesting in Tonga", outlining the best practices for people to ensure their water is free of E.coli.
The guide is available in the Tongan language.
Disinfection tablets that residents can put in the tanks are also available from the Ministry of Health.