Closing the Tonga Legislative Assembly’s 2013 Session, King Tupou VI reminded Tongans of their islands’ vulnerabiity to the effects of climate change, in his message for the closing of the 2013 Session of Tonga Legislative Assembly, this morning.
The king stated that the major damage caused by Tropical Cyclone Ian in Ha'apai in January this year, had reminded us just how unexpected natural disasters are.
Lord Kalaniuvalu Fotofili accompanied by Lord Tu‘iha’angana and Lord Luani read out the King's address at Parliament House for the quiet closing.
The king stated that Government had carried out works to help meet the urgent needs of the people in Ha'apai by distributing materials for temporary housing, water supply and food. Work continued to prepare for the Ha'apai reconstruction, expected to start later this year, as well as efforts made to restore the stability of food supply on the outer island.
King Tupou VI thanked donor countries, as well as Tongans residing locally and overseas their humanitarian assistance after the cyclone.
In the renewable energy sector, he said work was undertaken by Government to reduce Tonga's reliance on fossil fuel and to achieve a target of supplying 50% of electricity generation from renewable sources by 2020.
He said parliament in this session had deliberated and passed Bills that would help the country's development, despite the challenges faced over the last couple of months.
The short low-key ceremony was attended by only the members of parliament, parliament staff and media. The session which was adjourned from October last year had reconvened since Monday, March 31.
The 2014 Parliament session will open in June to discuss the National Budget 2014-15.
SOURCE: Matangi Tonga, April 3rd 2014: http://matangitonga.to/2014/04/03/king-reminds-tongans-their-vulnerabili...