Fonoi and Mango Islands residents were at the centre of an emergency response after significant volcanic ashfall from the Hungas has contaminated their water supplies.
“The government is planning a response with the provision of clean drinking water to be supplied from Tongatapu to these affected populations, as soon as possible for the next 10 days”, NEMO said in a statement.
It said there were 69 residents in Fonoi and 36 in Mango.
“We are proposing a minimum of 3 litres per person daily”.
It has sent a shipment with over 3450 litres of potable water to the two Ha’apai islands.
“435 water containers have been filled from established water harvesting system located at NEMO’s Warehouse in Matatoa. The containers hold 8 litres of water each.
“NEMO has also commenced planning for a medium and long term solution to address the water contamination issue in the islands.
“Prior to the 10 day period completion, NEMO through the Logistics and Coordination Cluster will once again, transport clean drinking water supplies through water tanks. The logistics for the Government of Tonga’s medium term response is currently in progress.”
Tongan authorities previously warned residents in Tongatapu, Vava’u and Ha’apai to remove guttering systems from rainwater tank storage until the eruption finishes. These should not be reinstalled until after the next rainfall, to reduce the risk of contamination.