Disaster Reduction Programme's EU B-Envelope project is working closely with the Ministry of Lands, Survey and Natural Resources (MLSNR) to drill six boreholes on Tongatapu. A contract was signed with NEEDS Engineering Ltd for approximately TOP120,000.
Work has just been completed in drilling the first borehole near the international airport that was at a depth of 55 meters with other sites to follow. The borehole at Fu’amotu will be drilled to a depth of 65 meters while the three boreholes at Mata’kieua wellfield will be at a dept of 24 – 35 meters.
The boreholes will be used by MLSNR to monitor water quality. This is very important as the water piped through the reticulated supply to households in Nukua’lofa and in most villages on Tongatapu is sourced from the underground water lens. The data collected through monitoring the water quality including salinity is essential for good management of the water supply.
The MLSNR visit all boreholes on a regular basis to collect samples for testing in their laboratory. The project has also completed upgrading the infrastructure at the Mataki’eua wellfield with construction of new wellsheds, supply of electric submersible pumps and supply of rainwater catchments to the outer islands.
DRP is also working with the Tonga Community Development Trust to raise awareness concerning water issues with the outer island communities.
This will promote good conservation and management practices so that they have clean water and to use it wisely. The assistance by the European to Tonga is around Euro 1.1 million addressing water security.