17 October, 2017. The Marine and Ports Division of the Ministry of Infrastructure completed an Outreach Program to Vava’u, Ha’apai and ‘Eua as part of its Maritime Safety Campaign: Be Ready, Be Safe in partnership with stakeholders such as Ministry of Fisheries and Tonga Police.
“We recognize that our oceans are like roads for most of our people in the outer islands and in line with the Ministry’s workplan, we are committed to maritime safety and sent out an Outreach team to share lessons and continue dialogue on how to be proactive and be prepared,” said Meliame Tu’alau, Officer in Charge of Marine and Ports Division.
The Outreach Program teamed up with Tonga Police’s Search and Rescue team in Vava’u and visited Hunga, Ovaka, Noapapu and Matamaka and also held a meeting at the Governor’s Office with district and town officers.
“I am so glad for this initiative and Government’s efforts. We have experienced personal tragedy at sea and welcome this program and the lessons,” said Ovaka Town Officer Vaisima after a brief presentation by Marine Officers Eric Vaka’uta and Colin Langilangi as well as Acting Sergeant Latu from Vava’u’s Police Search and Rescue.
The need for preparedness was more marked in Ha’apai where the Outreach team including Fisheries Officer Pouanoa ‘Ahoafi visited Lofanga, Kauvai and ‘Uiha and a meeting was also held in Pangai.
“We rely too much on our experience but we must learn to be more prepared especially as we are not as sheltered here in Ha’apai and we brave the open seas to get to Pangai from our respective islands,” said ‘Onesi Siulua of Lofanga.
The visit to ‘Eua facilitated by the Ministry of Internal Affairs echoed similar concerns and confirmed the boat owners’ willingness to better equip themselves and their boats.
“We welcome this meeting as fishing is our livelihood,” said ‘Afasa Loni, President of ‘Eua’s Fishing Association.
The Maritime Safety Campaign will culminate to a Maritime Day on 27 October at Vuna Wharf with the international theme: Connecting ships, ports and people.
The Maritime Safety Campaign is supported by the Transport Sector Consolidated Project.
sam Thursday, 19 October 2017 14:28 Comment Link
Malo Kau tangata e faifatongia ke fakamanatu kianautolu e mahuinga e mea ni pea oua naa ngalu ia moutolu hotau ulungaanga fakatongaa....te tau mafana he aho ni o kalanga io oku mau iloi he aho ni pea temau fai ia pea ko hoomou situa mai pe pea nau pehee leva tau fai pe etautolu e mea oku tau anga ki aii.....malie pea toe lesoni e toonga ia a e kakai Tongaa....mou ofa mai kau fefolauaki vaka o poto aa..Report