Tongatapu 5 Youth Council working committee with Tongatapu No. 5 People's Representative, Losaline Ma'asi, Free Wesleyan Church Hall- Ha'avakatolo.jpg

matangitonga (Nuku'alofa, Tonga) Tongatapu 5 Youth Council want to tackle water and coastal issues to ensure a better future for Hihifo communities, after electing a working committee last week.

The youth have attended a training program learning about Tonga’s water resources, including broken and unsafe toilet systems and other land based pollution, as well as coastal resources such as sand mining and illegal waste dumping from human activities. They also learned about governance, roles and responsibilities of a committee, and project proposals, writing and budgeting.

The youth council is supported by the Tongatapu 5 People’s Representative, Losaline Ma’asi as well as the Tonga IW Ridge to Reef (R2R) project.

R2R National Project Coordinator Silia Leger said the project helpts to enhance their knowledge on what, how, where, why these issues are happening and why it is important to address them.

The youth council was allocated $10,000 pa’anga from the Tongatapu 5 constituency fund.

Silia said the youth will use the funds for activities such as continuing coastal clean-ups in different parts of Hihifo, and assist the water team with water monitoring.

“One issue that the water team continuously faces is, when they get to the water pump station, it’s difficult to carry out their monitoring work straight away because they have to spend an hour or two cleaning up the station.” 

She added that further training will be organized for the youth to help with water issues overall.

“For example, plumbing training. This will not only help water issues in the community, but it might also help the youth financially.”

The youth council working committee will now look at preparing their workplan for the year.

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