On May 9th 2023, NOVA on PBS broadcasted a documentary, entitled “Hidden Volcano Abyss,” about the largest volcanic explosion documented in our lifetime in the Kingdom of Tonga. The Hunga Tonga – Hunga Ha’apai explosion occurred on January 15, 2022. The documentary explains the geologic and human impact this explosion had on this tiny nation. Click on this YouTube link to view this 53-minute program.
I served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Tonga from 1973-74 as a health educator, supervising the TB and Typhoid vaccination campaign that was conducted throughout these peaceful islands. I am a member of Friends of Tonga (FOT), a nonprofit group of individuals who care about the Tongan people. This group has made a valiant effort in Tonga’s post-explosion recovery. Recently FOT transferred $22,000 USD ($51,000 pa’anga) to the Civil Society Forum of Tonga (CSFT) to continue financing the installation of rainwater cisterns across the Kingdom of Tonga.
This wire transfer will fund purchasing, shipment, and installation of 13 rainwater collection systems/tanks in the Vava’u and Tongatapu island groups. The water tanks will be installed at locations to support segments of the population that have difficulty accessing clean drinking water, specifically the elderly and individuals with disabilities.
FOT is committed to assisting the most vulnerable communities throughout the Kingdom of Tonga. This can only be achieved in collaboration and with guidance from stakeholders in the community. In this instance, the Civil Society Forum of Tonga identified this specific need and mapped the locations to maximize this project’s impact. We are incredibly grateful to our partners, donors, and our entire community for making this relief possible.
To continue supporting efforts like these, you can do so here!
The Friends of Tonga Board