The government has given out TP$4.8 million to 6996 owners of houses which were damaged by tropical cyclone Gita four months ago.
The distribution of the money on June 12 came after a survey carried out by the Department of Statistics in March 2018 was completed.
The damage caused by the cyclone was classified into four main categories.
Category one covers houses which were totally destroyed.
Category two covers houses which extensively damaged to the point where the roofs and walls were torn apart and destroyed.
Category three and four cover houses which had “minor and minimal damage” meaning the structure of the houses remained intact and they were still liveable.
The people whose houses fell under category one received $3000 each,
Those whose houses came under category two received $1500 each.
Those whose houses fell under category three and four received $500 each.
The government said of the 6996 houses surveyed, 6193 houses were damaged in Tongatapu while 546 were affected in ‘Eua.
It said the government built 257 temporary housing units for some victims under Category One so they could stop living in tents. Of the 257 houses built, 230 were in Tongatapu and 27 in ‘Eua.
The Minister of Finance, Pōhiva Tu’i’onetoa, told Kaniva news the survey contained some technical errors.
This included houses which were damaged, but were not listed to receive funding.
The town and district officers were asked to report these people so they could be given the correct amount of donations.
Some names had been mistyped and work to resolve this was expected to be completed by this week.
“All in all the people were happy with the money they received to help them,” the Minister said.
The Ministry of Infrastructure, Finance, Internal Affairs and Department of Statistics were working together on this project.
As Kaniva News reported in March, the National Emergency Management Office (NEMO) announced that all of the TP$52.6 million donated to Tonga by overseas donors would be spent on the recovery process.
NEMO said TP$23.6 million in cash had been deposited in the government’s cyclone Gita’s bank account, with TP$2 million deposited into its normal account.
Cabinet had allocated TP$21.4 for the Cyclone sub-committee to help the recovery process.
It said the money would be spent on specific areas including shelter, education, food and security, and communication.
The smallest allocation, TP$200,000, will go to communications with the largest outlay, TP$7.7 million, going to essential services, including electricity maintenance.