Tonga’s path to infrastructure resilience

Source(s): United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure
Stakeholders in Tonga identifying a roadmap to infrastructure resilience

NUKU'ALOFA, TONGA - 29-30 May 2024: With the support of the National Disaster Risk Management Office (NDRMO) under the Ministry of MEIDECC, the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) conducted the Resilient Critical Infrastructure Review Findings and Recommendations Workshop.

This workshop is part of the " Enhancing Resilience of Infrastructure through Strengthened Governance Project Tonga" project aimed to bolster the resilience of Tonga's critical infrastructure against natural disasters and other shocks. Initiated in August 2023, the project conducted a comprehensive gap analysis to assess the disaster resilience of four essential sectors: Water, Energy, Transport, and Telecommunications.

In preparation for this workshop, a series of stress testing exercises, research, analysis, and consultations were conducted with key infrastructure sectors in Tonga. These activities were crucial in identifying vulnerabilities and opportunities for improvement. The gap analysis concluded with key findings and proposed recommendations to enhance the resiliency of Tonga's critical infrastructure, which were presented for review and validation by experts and technical officers.

During the first day of the workshop, technical officers from critical infrastructure stakeholder agencies and ministries assessed the findings and recommendations. The in-depth technical discussions in these sessions provided helpful refinements to the recommendations.

On the second day of the workshop, Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of the related infrastructure ministries and agencies were invited to review and discuss the recommendations. In this session, CEOs and senior officials pointed to improvements that will have to be addressed by the experts before sending the recommendations to the ministries for endorsement.

This workshop facilitated observation, engagement in discussions, and sharing of information on existing or upcoming projects relevant to the resilience of critical infrastructure by a broad set of stakeholders, including infrastructure sectors, international agencies, and civil society organizations. The process was designed to provide plenty of opportunities to discuss potential areas of synergy to advance the identified actions within the implementation plan.

This initiative highlights the commitment of Tonga and its partners to enhancing the resilience of critical infrastructure, ensuring the nation is better prepared to withstand and recover from disasters and other shocks.

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