Tongan families get affordable cyclone-proof homes

The New Zealand’s Habitat for Humanity’s  CEO Claire Szabo was in Nukuʻalofa to meet with Government of the Kingdom of Tonga Deputy Prime Minister Siaosi Sovaleni to sign a memorandum of understanding.

Ms Szabo said the agreement was focused on a commitment to the families of Tonga and provide them with affordable, cyclone-resistant homes.

“Habitat is committed to responding in times of disaster to all nations of the Pacific, and we’re pleased today to formalise our focus on responding to families in Tonga whose shelter may have been affected by disaster such as cyclones.”

“However, this agreement isn’t limited to a ‘bottom of the cliff’ response,” Ms Szabo said.

“We’re also very much looking forward to progressing work with families in Tonga whose shelter may not be adequate to withstand future disasters, through development projects, and this is a desire we’re pleased to share with the government of Tonga.”

Ms Szabo said the charity had been active in the Pacific for many years and was currently undertaking a partnership project in Samoa, continuing with rebuilding and housing resilience projects following the devastation of Tropical Cyclone Evan in 2012. Habitat was also working alongside Habitat for Humanity Fiji in the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Winston.

The signing of the memorandum of understanding was witnessed by New Zealand Member of Parliament Jenny Salesa.

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