Issue No. 36/2020 – Friday, 18 September 2020 (Kitiona Tausi)
The Nanumea Chief Councilor (Pule Kaupule), Mr. Tofiga Paitela is currently on the capital and he has been talking to Tuval.tv and Radio Tuvalu regarding Nanumea’s response in protecting the island if the capital, Funafuti has a COVID-19 virus case when the repatriation flights from Fiji are arriving. In fact, the first three flights have arrived, one last week and the other flights arrived this week.
In his interview with Tuvalu.tv, he said the Nanumea Falekaupule has supported a plan by the island’s taskforce that looks after the protection of the island from the COVId-19 virus in case Tuvalu has an infection.
“Nanumea will close its borders when the first repatriation flight from Fiji arrive in Funafuti and will reopen its borders after the 14 days’ quarantine period of the first arrivals from Fiji.
“Nanumea has also made plan for a six-month lockdown if in case Tuvalu has a case of the virus. All the different developments sectors on the island like Good Governance, Health, Education and Agriculture have all contributed to the plan for the proposed six-months lockdown to ensure that the island is protected, secured and self-sustained.
“Nanumea has also requested the church mission on the island to organize prayer meetings for the community where the community would praise God and ask for his protection in times of crisis like this. This has been approved and prayer meetings are now held on Mondays Wednesdays and Fridays under the leadership of the Church’s Commissioned Minister, Rev. Filipi Monia.”
Mr. Paitela also confirmed that the Nanumea Falekaupule has requested government for assistance in case Funafuti has a case and if the island closes its borders and there is a need for humanitarian assistance it is possible that Nanumea will allow the boats to call on the island.
“We have also informed all our fellow Nanumea islanders in schools, in employment within and outside Tuvalu to return to the islands for their safety and security.” said Mr. Paitela.
The Government of Tuvalu has made grants of $500,000 to each island community to help with their plans to protect themselves from the COVID-19 virus.
Coronavirus pandemic delays projects on Nanumea
A few of the projects at Nanumea are being stalled due to the coronavirus pandemic which has caused the lockdown of our borders. The Nanumea Chief Councilor (Pule Kaupule), Mr. Tofiga Paitela in an interview with Tuvalu.tv said that few projects that have been started are being affected.
“One of the projects is the pig pen project and more than half of the families have completed their pig pens and the remaining families will have to wait for additional funding to complete the project.” He said that the required fund to complete the project is in the $500,000 that government has allocated for projects relating to the protection of the island from the COVID-19.
“One other project is the Kaupule’s new office building which government granted an amount of $100,000 and that amount has been used but still additional funding is required for the project. All the materials for the project has been ordered and are awaiting transport from Fiji.”
He also said “the other project is the building of a new church and government has also granted $100,000 and the money is to be used for parts of the maintenance. The hold up in the works has been due to the lockdown because the carpenter that was selected by Nanumea for the work is currently in Australia and cannot travel because of the lockdown.”
Mr. Paitela in his interview said, this carpenter was also responsible for ordering the material from Fiji and thus, the project is also stalled.
The other project is the primary school’s new classrooms in a new site. Mr. Paitela said profiles for the building have been marked and it was found that there is the need to increase the lease and the delay now is in the funds to pay for the compensation of trees in the new lease expansion.
He also confirmed all the machineries required for the work are on the island.