Cyclone Gita has devastated Tonga. Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand works with partners on the ground to determine the needs of the communities. We have committed $10,000 NZD to relief. Learn how you can help.
This week Tropical Cyclone Gita has swept across islands of the Pacific causing substantial damage to homes, livelihoods, places of refuge, and places of prayer. This is certainly the case in Tonga where Gita made landfall in February 2018 as a category 4 tropical storm. Winds raged between 110 and 275 kmph causing waves over 11 metres tall.
For many years, Caritas has partnered with organisations in Tonga, and around the Pacific. Part of our efforts have been connecting with teams on the ground to gather information on the needs of communities. Thanks to this ongoing relationship, Caritas Tonga was able to distribute emergency supplies within 24hrs of Cyclone Gita's destruction. Such supplies include tarpaulins for shelter, hygeine kits, first aid kits, and even kitchen sets.
Much remains to be done as Tonga continues to support those affected by the Tropical Cyclone. Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand has committed an initial $10k NZD solidarity grant to help the communities rebuild. Currently, Caritas committees based in villages and communities around Tonga are conducting initial assessments to determine what kind of assistance is needed moving forward.
In addition to the much needed supplies, Tonga faces the risk of the spread of dengue fever which was already present in some regions. To prevent the spread of disease, a quick recovery of water and sanitation systems is necessary.
Caritas is able to preposition emergency supplies through our ongoing fundraising campaigns such as the Lent Appeal. Through the generosity of our supporters, we are able to conduct life saving and life changing work even in the most urgent of situations.
Funds received from our Lent Appeal will support our programmes around the world. To specfically support work in the Pacific, you can give to the Pacific Relief Fund.
*If donating online, select Lent or Pacific Relief Fund