Flooding causes school closures in Tonga

 Schools in Tonga are continuing to close down this week due to flooding that is heavily blamed on the poor construction of a new drainage system that was recently built through an ADB funded project.

The closures are compulsorily for all government schools including some of the church schools in the mainland Tongatapu, Vava’u, Ha’apai and ‘Eua.

As the water swiftly flooding the surfaces of Kolomotu’a areas two weeks ago dozens evacuated and fled their communities.

Tongan official Leveni ‘Aho in a NZRI report expected the flooding to ease off last week saying that the issue with the drainage system has already been “addressed”.

However it is now on its third week and there is still no sign that the water would be cleared soon.

The  drainage systems were meant to divert water out of the homes and lands into the sea but the public said it appeared that this does not work at all as the flow of water was blocked causing it to rise to about a meter, overflowing many houses and businesses in the Nuku’alofa areas.

This is the second year of such a huge flooding after last year’s Cyclone Jasmine bringing a huge amount of water to low lying areas in Tongatapu, mainly the village of Sopu including  Halavave, Halaano, Pea, Houmakelikao, Pili  Popua and Patangata.

Following Cyclone Jasmine, MP Sione Taione raised it with the government ministers in Parliament his concern over the contract between the ADB and the Vava’u Construction which was conducting the new road construction.

He alleged that the plan for the road lacked consideration of drainage system and as a result people of Popua village while Cyclone Jasmine struck have to destroy part of their new road to allow the water to pass through into the sea.

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