His Excellency Mr. Yukio Numata, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Kingdom of Tonga was in ‘Uiha Islands for the ceremony. Present also at the ceremony were Mr. Vili Manuopangai Hingano, People’s Representatives for Ha’apai Constituency # 12, Mr. Maikolo Fonua, representative of the Ha’apai Governor’s office, Contractor’s representatives and the community of ‘Uiha Island.
The Ambassador addressed the community that he was pleased that the new ice machine system had been installed on the island, saying that “it will boost the fisheries industry of this area by allowing the people to have easier access to flake ice” He emphasized that the GGP stands with the agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals “No one will be left behind”, and that assisting communities deprived of basic goods and services due to geographical disadvantages in order to accelerate development is the important purpose of the scheme. The assistance also included the installation of 10 water tanks on the island.
The Sosaieti 'Uhila 'a ‘Uiha mo Felemea sought for Japan’s assistance to provide for the high demand of flake ice which is required for the preservation of the marine products of ‘Uiha and the other neighboring island communities, so that their fresh catch can be sent to large markets in Lifuka and Nuku’alofa. Japan’s assistance will ease daily difficulties of not only the 550 people living on ‘Uiha Island, but also over 2,000 people living in the neighboring outer islands of Ha’apai.
Japans Grant Assistance for Grass-Roots Human Security Projects was introduced in 1990 and to date have been granted to over 270 projects in different sectors throughout Tonga. The assistance also epitomizes Japan’s commitment to support the efforts by the People and the Government of Tonga to achieve its National Strategic Planning Framework, and strengthen the warm and close relations between the people and the Government of Japan and the people of the Kingdom of Tonga.
H.E. Mr. Numata and the people of 'Uiha Island in front of the new Ice-Machine
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