8 Jun 2016

Waste management a priority concern for Tonga

7:00 pm on 8 June 2016

Changing mindsets around waste management is a major focal point of environmental conservation efforts in Tonga.

The government's Ridges to Reefs programme on Tongatapu works with communities to try and clean up their surroundings and improve their waste disposal habits.

A project coordinator in charge of the Fangauta Lagoon area said a clean up last year collected more than 40 tonnes of metal, plastics and other non-biodegradable waste.

Ta'hirih Hokafonu said activities on the land are having a serious effect on the health of the lagoon which she said has changed colour over the last decade from a pristine blue to a muddy green.

"We have locations of proper waste disposal available it is a matter of changing attitudes and there is a lot of awareness program promoted by the project through collaboration with other projects on media so that communities perceptions about the signficance of keeping a healthy environment could be manifested in your daily activities."

Ta'hirih Hokafonu said clean up efforts this year will focus on clearing waste from coastal beaches.