His Excellency Mr. Tetsuya Ishii, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Kingdom of Tonga handed over the vehicles during a ceremony along with Hon. Saia Piukala, Minister for Health. Present at the ceremony were Mr. Noriaki Kuzume on behalf of Kochi Prefecture, which donated one of the vehicles, accompanied by Mr. Naohito Hayashi and Mr. Sinali Latu. Also present at the ceremony were Dr. Nailasikau Halatuituia, Deputy Chairman of the Common Utility Boards, Peoples Representatives to Parliament from the Ha’apai and Vava’u Islands, CEO’s of Government Ministries, representatives of the JICA office in Tonga and the devoted staff of Waste Authority Ltd.
The waste management vehicles targets to strengthen the waste management of Ha’apai and Vava’u, where waste collection services are planned to begin. His Excellency Mr. Ishii emphasized in his keynote address that Japan is an active contributor to the capacity building of waste management throughout the world. “Our government takes an international lead in promoting the 3R initiative, REUSE, REDUCE and RECYCLE,” he said, and expressed his joy in being able to contribute in establishing a reliable waste management service in the two outer islands. He also shared his hope that this project will influence the Tongan communities in taking positive and environmentally friendly behaviors to sustain the beautiful islands’ nature of the kingdom.
“Japan has especially made it clear that current efforts to aid the island nations of the Pacific in establishing a firm waste management system in accordance with the Seventh Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting, PALM7 of 2015 must be strengthen, and I am happy that this project will contribute to fulfilling that promise.” His Excellency acknowledged the collaborative efforts from relevant stakeholders, such as the JICA office in Tonga that have been working in collaboration with the Embassy for the establishment of a waste management system that is both reliable and sustainable through their project for Promotion of Regional Initiative Soild Waste Management (J-PRISM) scheme, and also to the local governments and organizations of Japan, including Kochi city, Shimotsuma City and Hanno Seiso Center, for the donation of the vehicles.
Dr. Nailasikau Halatuituia, Deputy Chairman of the Common Utility Boards in his vote of thanks, extended the Government of Tonga’s thankfulness for the much needed assistance. He said that the effective waste management has been a challenge for Waste Authority Ltd, but the new trucks would improve capacity to deliver services effectively in the outer islands.
Japan’s Grant Assistance for Grass-Roots Human Security Projects has to date granted over 260 projects in different sectors throughout Tonga. The assistance to Waste Authority Ltd contributes and supports the Government of Tonga’s goals in the Tonga Strategic Development Framework 2015-2025 ensuring a cleaner environment and less pollution from households and business activities, building on improved waste management, minimization and recycling and making conditions safer, healthier and more pleasant for residents and visitors.
H.E. Mr. Ishii, Hon. Piukala, guests and the staff of Waste Authority ltd in front of the handed over vehicles
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