Present at the ceremony was Hon. Penisimani Fifita, Minister of Education and Training who is also the Peoples Representative for Tongatapu Constituency # 9. Also present were Officials of the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, Town Officer of Ha’ano Island, Ha’apai and Representatives from Fakatouato Kindergarten, Pelehake Village Water Community and ‘Alakifonua District Water Community.
H.E Mr. Tetsuya Ishii in his keynote address emphasized that the Embassy prioritizes empowerment of communities through education for all ages, access to clean and plentiful water and disaster preventions. “I am glad to assist Fakatouato Kindergarten so that the early childhood education provided there will encourage the growth of children and their future educational performance, leading to the creation of a good foundation for national building.” He also added that “access to water would be greatly improved for the people of Pelehake and ‘Alakifonua, we are certain that the upgraded water system will help build strong and healthy communities, where the people can continue their efforts for further development.” He was also delighted that the new community hall for Kauvai Island of Ha’ano will be used as an evacuation center from natural disasters and will also be used for trainings and other activities as a gathering point for a resilient community.
In noting Japan’s GGP scheme benefitting numerous communities in Tonga, His Excellency stated that in ancient Tongan terms, GGP is like the old saying si’i ‘a uha. Neongo ‘oku si’isi’i ka ko hono ‘aonga ‘oku mafola ‘o hange ha uha. (Small rain may be small, but it is significant and wide spread.) He sent his best wishes to the involved stakeholders in the successful collaboration of the new project, and wished them a Merry Christmas and Prosperous New Year.
Mr. Lokuvalu Leha, Deputy Chairperson of the PTA for Fakatouato Kindergarten in the vote of thanks said that all the benefiting communities are honored and happy for the assistance from the people and the Government of Japan.
Japan’s GGP was introduced in 1990 to directly and promptly meet the basic human needs at the grass-roots level and to date over 270 GGP projects have been handed over in Tonga. The assistance epitomized Japan’s commitment to support efforts by the people and the Government of Tonga to ensure Human Security and continue to enrich the existing warm and close relations between the people and the Government of Japan and the people of the Kingdom of Tonga.
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