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[Tonga]PWJ Aircraft Arrives in Tonga with Relief Supplies



An emergency supply aircraft, owned by Peace Winds Japan (PWJ) and Asia Pacific Alliance for Disaster Management (A-PAD), successfully landed twice in Tonga on 14 and 15 February delivering much needed relief items. Crews offloaded the items at Fua’amotu International Airport to assist those affected by the devastating volcanic eruption and subsequent tsunami waves.
The private small aircraft departed from Osaka, Japan on 8 February and landed in Suva, Fiji after a six-day journey. It made stopovers at thirteen airports in eight countries along the way. The aircraft carrying humanitarian aid as well as PWJ and A-PAD personnel made two round trips between Fiji and Tonga.
Supplies flown included rice, canned fish, cooking oil, sugar, water purifiers, water purifying tablets, antibacterial soaps, hand sanitizers and items of personal protective equipment. The consignment was unloaded in a contactless way to keep COVID-19 out. Foreign aid workers were not permitted to enter Tonga and all goods arriving in the country were required to be quarantined for at least 72 hours.


The items were collected by PWJ’s local partner, Tonga Community Development Trust (TCDT) following the quarantine period. TCDT assesses the needs of disaster-affected people and works closely with the Tongan Government to ensure the supplies are distributed to the most vulnerable households in the right place at the right time.
TCDT’s finance manager Kalolaine Kavaefiafi said, “I cannot thank the people of Japan enough for their generous donation towards the people of Tonga. We will make sure the relief items reach the affected households to assist them materially and reduce their psychological distress.”
The rest of the relief goods, including 177 sets of family evacuation kit, were shipped by sea from Fiji on 18 February and currently at the quarantine bay.


The fourth batch of relief supplies, consisting of 150 sets of non-food items and washing equipment, were sent by air transport in collaboration with UN World Food Programme (WFP) which arranged a chartered flight departed from Fiji on 5 March.
These items will help people restore their lives in the affected areas and remove the volcanic ash that has blanketed the islands of Tonga and contaminated water and food supplies.


As an estimated 85,000 people across Tonga need immediate assistance, there is still much work to be done. In response to this situation, PWJ and A-PAD, along with their partners, keep up the support to the Pacific nation and help it build back better in recovery.