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Nukunuku awaits a dusty Christmas

Nukunuku, Tonga


Christmas is just around the corner. Almost everyone if not all look forward to celebrate the birth of the Christ – the Saviour of mankind, at least Christians the world over believed - in joyous spirit. 

Church bells will be ringing. Christmas music dominates the air waves. Christmas trees, lights of various colours and much much more! 

But, I bet the festive spirit in Nukunuku, will be somewhat different this year!

It will be gloomy I think, and the new paints and everything else set for joyful festivities will be overshadowed with dust. 

Dust, is now the order of our days twenty-four-seven for two months running, minus a few rainy hours to be exact.

But my story would be incomplete if not to mention that residents of Hihifo have to endure bumpy-jumpy rides for many months as the roads was so badly deteriorated to almost unusable with potholes all over right at the centre of Nukunuku. 

Then road reconstruction begins. Many if not all were looking forward for the new roads. Little they expect a constant spray of gravel dust, and for a seemingly never-ending duration.    

To add to our misery, the Sun made its presence felt on all things Nukunukuan – trees big and small, the lawns, houses, drinking water and from new born to the elderly have their dose of dust every day since. Even now as I write.

The question now is: when will the road work complete? Until then we will continue to be imprisoned in our own homes. We may not cigarette smokers, but definitely dust inhalers.

We haven’t heard from the leaders yet, even though “P” registered vehicles speed up and down, never seem to slow down but in the process whirled the dust far and wide as if a sponsored distributor.

At one point the construction came to a halt for two weeks. No road workers to be seen. Then they came back for a day or two then disappear again.

What went wrong?

It left us to wonder what went wrong. Whether there was adequate funding for the project? Maybe the wrong people were contracted and the list kept going.

We haven’t heard from our leaders in government or the newly merged Ministry of Infrastructure as to the whys and so on regarding a job not at all executed to the least of satisfaction.    

I am not finger pointing here nor do I advocate for a political solution either.

But surely it is not a good thing to provide a service, let alone attempting to, and left it hanging on the air for far too long.

Nukunuku was first runner-up in the recent Agricultural Show competition for environmentally clean and beautiful. A judgment error in my view as dust deposits covered the beauty of the floras and everything else in between. So it would be a struggle to see any beauty at all.

Nukunuku may be considered the centre of Hihifo. It has all kind of services – from Policing to Finance, and Fire Brigade to Bakeries, located along the main road only to welcome Dust as “a always first” daily customer. 

Oh, and there’s the Health Centre!

Definitely the road is a cause for immediate concern, and a health hazard at best to all ages. 

Can someone please, help! Media I suppose and not getting too tangle up with politics.

Then again, Christmas is nearing. The least we can hope for is a dust-free Christmas – for all the living and the health of our children. Make a difference, please.

 Witcliffe TM.