Four gentlemen (L-R): Hon Satini Manuella (Minister of Health), Governor General, His Excellency Iakoba Taeia Italeli, Hon Maatia Toafa, (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Hon Namoliki Sualiki (Minister of Home Affairs and Rural Development. The rest in the photo are the women who have been awarded Certificatse of Recognition for 2018 and Miss Pisi ‘Kana Festival 2018, Ms Emily Sam Panapa, at the end of the line

(Ms Afasene Iosefa)

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Hon Maatia Toafa was the Chief Guest at the International Women’s Day in Tuvalu on Thursday last week. He also delivered the keynote address of the Day as in the followings:

‘With the presence of His Excellency the Governor General and Madam, I am very happy to say hello to all of you who your names have been introduced by the Master of Ceremony, and especially to all the invited guests who are with us today. Talofa everyone.”

“It’s a beautiful day to see you this morning, and a beautiful theme for the day, ‘Leave no woman behind, be bold for change.’ The International Women’s Day is a day that usually celebrates every year on March 8.”

In Tuvalu, Hon. Toafa said, the day marks government’s support on the issue of gender equality in all sector of life.”

The theme from UN Women for this year is Time is now: Rural and Urban Activists, Transforming Women’s Lives. According to Hon. Maatia Toafa, the theme depicts the importance of women on outer islands, and women on the capital, Funafuti, who are business leaders today, see from it as the progress on the issue of gender equality,

“The gender equality marks the number five goal in our SDG. The theme for the SDG number 5 is ‘Leave no women behind, be bold for change,” said Hon. Toafa.

The Gender Affairs Office celebrates the International Women’s Day by commending the contributions of the women to climate change, in times of disasters and developing plans to respond to those disasters.

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Women on the capital celebrating the International Women’s Day

“Women…you have very important duties in addressing such problems, to reforming and restructuring, caring for the elderlies and the sick. In our culture you are known as caretakers of our children. In a disability survey carried out in 2017, 78% of those taking care of disabled were women. Apart from that, you are still trying to equalize yourselves with men in the level of leadership both on outer islands and the whole nation as well.”

In 2015, the Minister said, the survey that was carried out by the Gender Affairs Department, after the TC Pam, saw that the majority of women did hear the announcement about the cyclone because they were staying indoors, while men were at work like fishing, gardening or working in the ‘pulaka’ pits.

Hon. Toafa went on to say that about 90% of women prepared the food and beddings, clothes before the family moved to take shelter in other houses. Men stayed back to look after the houses.

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Women are good in preparing food. This is the content of the table of food prepared by the women for refreshment during the celebration of the International Women’s Day

“Your duty to provide and manage the food is very important in times of disasters.

Your skills and knowledge as leaders within your families, in planning and preparedness during disasters and of course the dispute or complaints, will assist with the protection and encouraging of women and young girls to see and realize the needs of the disabled.”

Apart from that, the Minister said, women in leadership is not significant. As we all know there is only one female representative in Parliament and about 6% of women is represented in the Kaupule. So it is still difficult for you women to involve in leadership. You are encouraged to involve yourselves in decision making and for you to know how to limit the discrimination within our society.

“Today is your day with the young girls of Tuvalu, to enjoy and celebrate your free lbour to your families and your associations.

Today, Hon. Toafa said, also marks and encouraged the whole nation, sisters, young girls and any woman to follow and trust what they can do with their talents so they can win any of what they are hoping for.”

“Be bold for a change, is the theme for this year, so I encourage you women and the young girls as well to make yourselves as tools to build up a change for the benefit of Tuvalu in the future.

Have a wonderful and enjoyable celebrations of your day here in Tuvalu and throughout the world as well.”


Customers queuing up to get assistance from TTC staff
(Rev Dr. Kitiona Tausi)
Yesterday, Thursday 08 March 2018 was a long-waited day for mobile users in Tuvalu to actually connect their mobile phones to a new mobile service, the 4G LTE that they have been promised sometimes ago that it will have a much higher speed capacity as compared to 3G.
The Funafuti Falekaupule, Tausoa Lima was really packed with people who have been invited specially to witness the launching of the new 4G LTE Mobile Service and also people who attended to receive consultations from the staff of the Tuvalu Telecommunication Corporation in line with the many services the new mobile system provides.

Attending the launching ceremony yesterday included the Governor-General, His Excellency Iakoba Italelei Taeia, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Hon Maatia Toafa, Cabinet Ministers, the President of the Ekalesia Kelisiano Tuvalu and other dignitaries.
The President of the Ekalesia Kelisiano Tuvalu, Rev Penitusi Taeai conducted the devotion and the blessing of the new mobile service.

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EKT President, Rev Penitusi Taeia

The General Manager of the Tuvalu Telecommunication Corporation, Mr Simeti Lopati in his address briefly explained about this new mobile service. He said ‘4G runs on a new technology known as LTE (Long Term Evolution) and it is fully IP based or uses the internet protocol or the internet. That is why it has a much higher speed capacity as compared to 3G.

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TTC General Manager, Mr Simeti Lopati addressing the guests

In line with the new service’s tariff, Mr Lopati explained “We now offer better prices and customers will
have more choices to choose from. For instance, we have night passes and even weekend passes, which are much cheaper than the normal rate”.
“The new tariff is compatible or a little better than those in Kiribati or Nauru”.
Mr Lopati also advised those who have Iphone, “I regret to say that at this stage your iphone will not work at this time. TTC is in consultation with iphone and we expect that by June, Iphone will be able to register our network and so Iphone will work.
In his address, Mr Lopati acknowledged the presence of Mr Naren Yanamadala, President and CEO of Blue Arcus Technologies Incorporation, and Mr Eugene Wase from the National Telecommunication Authority of the Marshall Islands. He also thanked Mr Carson Young who designed and helped them to improve their reception area at their min studio.
The keynote address was delivered by the Minister of Communication and Transport, Hon Monise Laafai. Hon Laafai thanked the TTC, the Blue Arcus Technologies Incorporation and the National Telecommunication Authority of the Marshall Islands or their contribution and especially the Government of Tuvalu for its support.

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Minister Monise Laafai delivering the keynote address launching the G4 LTE Mobile Network Service
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Guest arising for the toast proposed by Hon Monise Laafai


The Prime Minister, Hon Enele Sopoaga in his office a few weeks ago
(Rev Dr. Kitiona Tausi)
The Prime Minister of Tuvalu, Hon Enele Sosene Sopoaga has been appointed as a Member of the Queen’s Privy Council. This news was released today for public information by the Office of the Governor General and the official appointment was conveyed by Buckingham Palace on 05 March 2018.
The Prime Minister will now be addressed as the Rt. Hon Enele Sosene Sopoaga.
The Hon Prime Minister is travelling at the moment and he is expected to return to Tuvalu on Thursday this week.


Women on the capital, Funafuti commemorate International Women’s Day at the Funafuti Lagoon Hotel, Photo by Rev Dr. Kitiona Tausi

(Ms Afasene Iosefa)
The International Women’s Day was commemorated around the globe yesterday 8 March, 2018. The theme for this year is a strong directive for all women on the globe, leave no Women Behind, Be Bold For Change’.
In Tuvalu, celebrations of the day at nine o’clock in the morning at the Funafuti Lagoon Hotel with a welcome and introductory remarks from the Master of Ceremony Ms. Luifou Kokea.
A word of prayer was then followed by Rev Tepahalakai Koloto from the Ekalesia Kelisiano Tuvalu (EKT).
After the prayer, the Acting Prime Minister, Hon Maatia Toafa delivered the speech to mark the International Women’s Day. The speech will be covered in the next issue of KMT News.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Hon Maatia Toafa delivering the keynote address of the Day

Followed after was the Tuvalu Women of the Year Awards presented by the First Lady and patron of the Tuvalu National Council of Women, Madame Koling Italeli Taeia.
The awardees include Miliama Sualo and Makelina Iafeta from Nanumea; Mee Otinielu Tausi and Tiatia Finau Maea from Nanumaga; Eleni Tavau and Saupule Kailasi from Niutao; Poliala Tevesi and Togamamao Malaga from Nui; from Vaitupu were Lavania Teuso and Vaisamoa Papa; from Nukufetau were Vaetiti Peni Fiti and Auiluma Levi; Vailima Natano and Kuluse Polau from Funafuti; and Olataga Lopati and Esi Elekana from Nukulaelae.

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Some of the women awardees who were present at the function

The opportunity was also given to one of the awardees to deliver a speech in which Vaisamoa Papa stood on their behalf.

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Mrs Vaisamoa Papa speaking on behalf of the women awardees

Both speeches focused basically on the theme of the day, thus encouraging every woman to work hard and make a change in their working environment.
“We women, we are the vine-yard, and I pledge you to maintain this vine-yard that gives
wisdom to the families, islands, the country and the church,” said Ms. Papa
Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Mrs Nese Ituaso Conway then
rounded up the speeches.

The Vaiaku Congregation of the Ekalesia Kelisiano Tuvalu appeals for kind
Donations to assist the building of its new church building
to assist the building of its new church building

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Mrs Dr. Nese Conway addressing the women

Ms. Conway thanked the government of the day for supporting the Gender Affairs Department, and called upon every woman to work together for the benefit of all women, the nation, and the children of tomorrow.
Light refreshment and entertainment followed.
Workshops organized by the TuFHA, Health Department, Fisheries and the Tuvalu Red Cross
followed after, in which everyone enjoyed the fun.
The function was attended by the Governor General, His Excellency Sir Iakoba Taeia Italeli and First Lady Madam Koling Italeli, Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Maatia Toafa and wife Pulafagu Toafa, Cabinet Ministers, Ambassador of ROC, His Excellency Mark Su, MPs, the Chairperson of the Public Service Commission Dr. Alesana Kleis Seluka and other dignitaries.

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Women enjoying the programme of the Day
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ROC Ambassador, Marc Su joining the fun and demonstrating Taikwando


(Rev Dr. Kitiona Taui)
Although dogs are pet animals, but without masters they can be a nuisance to public security and can also a domestic blessing. It is a nuisance when they harm people and it can be a blessing when they are means of home security, helping families to ward off night intruders. On the capital, dogs are danger to plane landing and taking off. There have been incidences in the past when planes coming down to land and had to return to airborne because of dogs roaming in the runway.
One past government had tried to eliminate dogs but had not been successful. In the meantime the Funafuti Kaupule is making another attempt with the assistance of the government allocating some funds to the Funafuti Kaupule and also dispatching the police officers to assist in the hunt for stray dogs.
The Secretary of the Funafuti Kaupule, Rev Taualo Penivao has confirmed that up tp now, the Kaupule has slaughtered about 300 dogs and they are still continuing the hunt for stray dogs.. He said the Kaupule has offered prices of $50.00 for a female dog, $40.00 for a male dog and $30.00 for a young dog to any person turning in a dog.

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Secretary Rev Taualo Penivao on the right and Iosia Apelu, a member of the community.


(Ms Afasene Iosefa)
The Nukufetau women on the capital met recently at their Falekaupule Talimalie II to discuss matters relating to their association.
One of the subjects they discussed was their foundation fund locally called ‘te FAKAVAE’ where every woman in the capital and main land contributes fifty dollars into the fund every month.
The fund was established under an agreed target with high hopes everyone will benefit from it.
The target has been reached and the association is now planning to continue its second target into the fund pending the final decision with their sisters from Nukufetau at their forthcoming meeting scheduled for early next month in Funafuti.
Those women from Nukufetau are expected to be here on the 31st of this month.
The association is also planning to beautify its meeting hall in preparation for the Forum Leaders’ meeting in which Tuvalu is hosting next year.
The meeting last Saturday started at 10.30 in the morning and ended up after 3 o”clock in the afternoon.


Mr Monise and his wife, Elesia displaying their produce for sale

(Rev Dr. Kitiona Tausi)
Two organic farmers are trying to prove that organic farming can be successful in Tuvalu. They are Mr Fialua Monise and Mr Sione Poumee. Mr Monise is a retired civil servant having served as an agricultural officer with the Agricultural Department while Mr Poumee is a Tongan and married to a Tuvaluan girl with wide experiences in agricultural farming in Tonga and in New Zealand.
Mr Monise told KMT News he is growing vegetables in his garden using only local compost mixing it up with pig waste. He does not need chemical fertilizers knowing that the produce reaped from gardens using chemical fertilizers can have a harmful effect on human lives. He is trying to grow his vegetables by using organic compost and he confirmed that organic farming is sustainable and has a potential for the local market as well.

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Half 44 gallon drums with local compost

Mr Monise explained that he used half-44 gallon drums for his compost. He collected various leaves and put it in the drum to rot, and then he mixed it with big waste and leave it for a few days before he put it in the beds that have already being prepared.

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A ‘felo’ tree in the foreground and a ‘Niutao type’ breadfruit
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A pumpkin plant growing well

The Tongan, Mr Poumee is not far from Mr Monise’s farm but further to the north. Mr Monise and Mr Poumee’s farms are all on the northern side of the islet and they may be just less that 100 metres apart.

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Mr Sione Poumee and his wife, Soloi Poumee. Soloi comes from Nanumea

Mr Poumee tolad EKT News yesterday that their family have started eating from the produce of his farm. He said he is growing all kinds of vegestables, taro, pumpkim, cabbage, cucumber, egg plant, breadfruit, water melon, sweet potato, etc..
He said he had been involved in farming for many years and he had a big farm in Tonga. When they moved to New Zealand, he also started farming vegetables and they did eat from the produce of his farms. He said he does not want to eat rice and that is why he is keen to do farming. His farm in Auckland, New Zealand was producing very well and he used to share his garden produce to his neighbors, friends and relatives

Mr Poumee has lived in Tuvalu for over two and a half year and he wants to show Tuvaluans that they can grow their own food just by using local compost. He said they do not need chemical fertilizers. He is also willing to show his experiences to anybody who wish to do organic farming. One setback in his farm is the water problem. He wanted to secure a water tank specially for his farm.

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Papaya and pumpkins and taro growing well in Mr Poumee’s farm

Not only vegetable, Mr Poumee also has chickens and ducks.

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Mr Poumee’s chicken and duck farm



(Ms Afasene Iosefa)
After the PNA Leader’s Meeting in Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Tuvalu’s Prime Minister, Hon. Enele Sosene Sopoga left to India to attend the mega inaugural International Solar Alliance Summit.
The big draw at the summit was the French President Emanuel Macron, who was on a state visit to India coinciding with the event, which his country is co-sponsoring.
The meeting comes just over two years after India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi first proposed the initiative.
According to reports, the key goal of ISA is to make available solar energy at an affordable rate, create solar grids and establish solar credit mechanism,
Tuvalu’s Prime Minister Hon. Enele Sosene Sopoaga said Tuvalu has already ratified and signed the ISA Treaty and his presence at the meeting provides Tuvalu an opportunity to request India to provide us with more solar energy.

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Hon Prime Minisiter, Enele Sosene Sopoaga in his office

At the moment, solar in Tuvalu has about 30 percent in total and Tuvalu needs to increase its solar to 60 or 70 percent.
The solar panels are installed at the Media Department, the Tuvalu Electricity Corporation, the Government Office, the Princess Margaret Hospital, the Marine Warehouse, and outer islands.
The Prime Minster of India held bilateral talks with some of the leaders on the sidelines of the summit.
The vision and mission of the International Solar Alliance is to provide a dedicated platform for cooperation among solar resource rich countries where the global community, including bilateral and multilateral organizations, can make a positive contribution to assist and help achieve the common goals of increasing the use of solar energy in meeting energy needs of prospective ISA member countries in a safe, convenient, affordable, equitable and sustainable manner.
The secretariat is based in Gurgaon, where Prime Minister Modi and then French President Hollande laid the foundation stone in 2016.
Hon. Sopoaga is being accompanied by his wife, Salilo Enele, Secretary of the Ministry for Public Utilities, Avafoa Irata, the Acting Private Secretary, Asogali Tufoua, and Security Officer, Penivao Penete.


(Rev Dr. Kitiona Tausi)
The state house occupied by the Head of State, Governor General has already been demolished and a new building is under construction. The work is being carried out by the Public Works Department to a cost totaling between $800 – $1 million. In the meantime the work is concentrating on the underground water cistern and the floor has been completed. The foreman of the work is Mr Temakau Setusa of PWD.
When asked about the duration of the work, Mr Setusa said that they are not sure. The whole project is under the supervision of Charles Leepo of PWD.

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Foreman, Temakau Setusa at the site of the work
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Some of the workers at the State house trying to level the corner of the water cistern
The Prime Minister, Hon Enele Sosene Sopoaga

Tuvalu’s PM keen for private sector to take bigger role

Tuvalu’s premier, Enele Sopoaga, says he would like to see the private sector take a role in helping economic development and fighting climate change in his country. Tuvalu is considered one of the most threatened Pacific Island nations because of rising sea levels due to climate change. Mr Sopoaga told Pacific Trade and Invest that Tuvalu was working on many fronts to combat the effects of climate change.

He said the private sector could be instrumental in helping create economic resilience. Mr Sopoaga said traditional products like toddy or viscous coconut sugar syrup have great potential. He said coconut oil and breadfruit were also promising candidates for exports with the right kind of processing and packaging inputs to develop them. The Prime Minister said there were no supply issues because of the abundance of coconut trees and the communities’ readiness in producing toddy for sale. “One coconut can produce as much as five litres of toddy,” he said. Mr Sopoaga believes the product has good export potential. The government has had samples assayed at the laboratories of the University of the South Pacific (USP) in Suva, Fiji and have developed a nutrition label in preparation for exports.