The Island of Ha’apai - Kingdom of Tonga
The Kingdom of Tonga, a group of islands in the South Pacific, is facing the consequences of climate change.
Impact of climate change on some houses near the sea
“We are lucky if a year goes past,” says Sr Senolita Vakata of Caritas Tonga, “without a cyclone or hurricane hitting our country.”
Pangai Ha’apai is one of the island groups in Tonga. Children used to play on the beach and close to home. Now, as waters rise, they are moving inland and children really miss the healthy environment and the freshness of the sea breeze.
Families had easy access to the sea for shallow sea fishing before. But over the last two years, the fish and oysters they used to catch and on which they fed their families are no longer there.
They always built their houses near the beach. Now, you can see the impact of climate change on these houses near the sea. For the last three years, rising sea levels have caused very strong currents and powerful waves which have eroded the land on which their houses are built.
With this coastal erosion, families are facing a battle for their houses, their way of life and for their children’s future
RESOURCESAnnual reportHow Caritas works: Climate Change Guide on Environmental JusticeClimate change on Caritas BlogClimate justice newsletter vol. 6