The recurrence of abundant “seaweed blooms” are a growing concern on the island of Viti Levu in Fiji as beaches become increasingly affected with the algae. A Pacific-wide discussion by internet forum is underway this month, January 2013, to find out how far this problem extends across Pacific communities to help determine if it is caused by climate change.
On February 17 the World Bank and the Government of Tonga signed a US$27 million grant to make air travel safer and more efficient for people travelling to and from Tonga. The investment is part of the World Bank’s regional Pacific Aviation Investment Program, and will support rehabilitation of Fua’amotu international airport and Vava’u airport to ensure both meet minimum international safety and security standards.
The opening date for the new Vuna Wharf, reconstructed at a cost of $30 million and scheduled for early 2012, remains uncertain, with work still to be done around the wharf site before it can open for business. Mosese Lavemai, the CEO of the Nuku’alofa Port Authority, said on February 1, that although the reconstruction of the actual wharf was completed ahead of schedule in December 2011, additional work needed to be completed around the wharf before a date is set for an opening.