Japan Funded Waste Management and Solar Electrification Projects Commissioned in Vava’u

H.E Mr. Tetsuya Ishii, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Tonga visited Vava’u island from 18 – 19 April, 2018 on his first official visit and for the commissioning of Japan’s waste management and solar electrification projects.

On Wednesday 18, His Excellency, Mr. Ishii paid a courtesy call to Lord Fakatulolo, Governor of Vava’u before they joined Hon. Saia Piukala, Minister for Health and Public Enterprises, and Hon. Poasi Tei, Minister for MEIDECC at the official launching of the new office and waste management service for the island, at the Waste Authority Ltd Office located at Kameli, Vava’u. The ceremony also celebrated the commissioning of three recycled vehicles donated by a local Government and Non-profit Organizations in Japan, and reconditioned under Japan’s GGP.

His Excellency emphasized that, Japan has especially made it clear that current efforts to aid the island nations of the Pacific which is establishing a waste management system must be strengthened, and expressed great appreciation for the coordination efforts amongst the WAL and JICA through J-PRISM II (Japan’s Technical Cooperation Project for Promotion of Regional Initiative on Solid Waste Management in Pacific Islands Countries Phase II).

His Excellency also joined the official commissioning ceremony for the Vava’u and Ha’apai Rural and Remote Communities Solar Electrification Project on Thursday, 19 April at Pangaimotu and ‘Otea Islands in Vava’u with Lord Fakatulolo, Hon. Tei and Hon. Piukala. The project received a four (4) million US dollar grant aid by the Government of Japan through the Pacific Environmental Community (PEC) Fund to support development efforts to promote renewable energy by Japan-made technology. The project was implemented by the MEIDECC under collaboration with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS), to install 22 solar powered water pumps for 17 villages on ‘Uta Vava’u, and 36 solar powered deep freezers in 20 sites, in the remote islands of both Vava’u and Ha’apai islands.

In anticipation of the upcoming the 8th Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM8) in May this year, His Excellency appreciated the collaboration efforts from all stakeholders for the both projects situated in the areas of priority of Japan’s assistance to the region, which also reflects the warm and cordial relationship amongst the people and Government of Japan and the people and Government of Tonga.

Warm hospitality was extended by the people of Vava’u especially from the student of Mailefihi Siu’ilikutapu school band, who welcomed and saw the Ambassador off at the airport with cheerful tunes.