Beach Replenishment Brings Benefits to Tongatapu

A mixture of soft and hard engineering measures has been employed to save the eastern coastline of Tongatapu, the main island of the Kingdom of Tonga.

Measures like constructing permeable groynes and short offshore breakwaters supplemented with beach replenishment and coastal planting is being trialled to save Tongatapu’s east coast from gradual erosion and land loss.

And according to Luisa TuIafitu Malolo, senior official of Tonga’s Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment and Climate Change – these artificial measures are working.

“We have a team that monitors the effectiveness of these measures every three months,” said Malolo. “The results so far indicate that these sedi-tunnels, offshore breakwaters and coastal planting are working. We’re hoping to be able to calculate the rate of beach replenishment as a direct result of the engineering measures we have put into place.”

Malolo presented the result of her ministry’s trialling of coastal protection measures at the Pacific Climate Change Roundtable currently underway in Samoa.

Work on protecting Tongatapu’s east coast began in August 2013, and this is due to end this December. Funded by the European Union, Malolo said the coastline protection project was implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).

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