Tuvalu’s final preparation for the Polynesian Leaders’ Group Summit is on course and in this morning, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development made a last go at planting lily plants on some parts of the road at Tekavatoetoe.

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Ministry of Finance staff planting the side of the road with lilies
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Some of the staff of the Ministry of Finance at work on the road, and were really enjoying themselves

The Public Works Department, however, worked this week in creating a public park at the end of the southern end of the airfield and to the lagoon side. This site used to be a desalinator plant installation but has been removed to make room for a mini public park.

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Last week
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There were also improvements to the road to the lagoon side of the main office building and this has been completed by PWD.

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The road to the Vaiaku side
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The road running north to the hotel

Instead of planting lily plants on the road, one family has decided to put up a fence of painted brown coconuts.

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Atabi and Puanita Ewekia’s home
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Outside the Tuvalu Post Limited Office


Photos from the consultation

(Rev Dr. Kitiona Tausi)
A stakeholder consultatation in line with the Shark’s Plan, Tuna Plan, CMM 2017 – 2021 was opened this moring at the Fishery’s Complex Building. The consultation was conducted by consultants from the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA), Mr Samasoni Sauni and FFA’s Legal advisor, Mr Tion and the South Pacific Commission (SPC), Stevn Hare and the Fishery Department.
Participants included stakeholders like the Legal Department, the Climate Change Unit, the private sector, NGOs and interested line departments.

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Photos from the consultation



Mr Keizo Takahashi

(Ms Afaene Iosefa)
Staff of the Fisheries Department and the Funafuti Fishermen Association are very thankful to the Fisheries Adviser from the Overseas Fisheries Cooperation Foundation of Japan (OFCF), for the fishing new technologies taught to them.
According to Mr. Keizo Takahashi, he taught these people three types of new fishing technologies.
He said one is how to use the Electric Reel with rod for deep sea yellowfin fishing, the second one is the Diamond Squid fishing in deep sea which is a very new type of fishing that nobody here knows it, and the third one is the Deep Sea Hand line with super cord.
“All the materials for these fishing new technologies are already with the Fisheries Department and his company would be very happy to send more materials pending the promotion of the new fishing technologies in the country,’ he said.
Apart from these fishing new technologies, Mr. Takahashi also taught staff of the Fisheries Department on how to make smoked fish.
He also had the chance to teach the Tuvalu women during the International Women’s Day on how to make smoked fish.
When asked about his smoked fish recipe Mr. Takahashi said, “Yes, I am happy to give you KMT News my recipe free of charge.”

Here’s the Smoked Fish Recipe:
1kg cut fish, 2 cups soy sauce, 2 cups white vinegar, 2 tablespoon sugar, Small amount of black pepper
Mix them altogether and marinade for one hour. After marinade, dry them for another hour, after drying, put them inside the smoked box and smoke with coconut husk. Then they are ready to eat.

Before coming to Tuvalu, Mr. Takahashi spent almost seven years in Tarawa, Kiribati teaching smoked fish and new technologies of fishing.
He left Tuvalu on yesterday’s flight and he will be back in May this year together with an engineer also from the OFCF who’s coming to do the maintenance of the Fisheries boat, Te Manaui.


Air Kiribati’s Dash 8 aircraft parking at the Funafuti International Airport shortly after landing in its first operational flight on 14 March 2018

(Rev Dr. Kitiona Tausi)
A new direct air service between Kiribati and Tuvalu will become effective today 21 March 2018. The service will be operated by Air Kiribati, Kiribati’s National Airline and its first inaugural flight to Tuvalu was on Wednesday, 14 March 2018. It is an exciting development as it will connect the two nations who have lived together under the former Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony.
Air Kiribati has announced that it will be launching one flight a week between the two countries utilizing Air Kiribati’s Dash 8 aircraft as from the 21 March 2018. The announcement was made by the Chief Executive officer of Air Kiribati, Mr Tarataake Teannaki.
The service will allow Tuvalu residents a new choice for travel to countries such as the Marshall Islands, Nauru Islands, Honiara in the Solomon Islands, Port Villa in Vanuatu, Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea and Brisbane in Australia.

Mr Teannaki said “We know that there are strong family and government connections between Kiribati and Tuvalu and we are confident that the service will be well used. The service we believe will facilitate the growth and development of both tourism and trade between the two countries and will further the Kiribati Government’s K20 objectives. Our new Tuvalu service is our second international service that we have announced after last year’s establishment of once a week service between Tarawa and Honiara and Brisbane.’
Manu Travel Office, a local company managed by Mrs Ilaisita S. Manuella has been appointed as its General Sales Agent (GSA) in Tuvalu.

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The Manager of Manu Travel, Mts Ialisita S. Manuella

Prices between Tarawa and Funafuti start from $350.00 one way with up to 35 seats available on every service. Mrs Manuella said that passengers will enjoy an in-cabin service and the warmth hospitality of Air Kiribati’s cabin crew.
Manu Travel Office would like o announce that for the new service, passengers can purchase a ticket through the Kiribati Travel Agency (KTA) office in Bairiki at reservations@airkiribati.com.ki or via phone at 75021188/75021189 as well as Manu Travel Services Office in Funafuti at manutravel@gmail.com or via phone at 20980 or mobile 7006053/7006054.


The Governor General’s Residence and workers are working on its underground water cistern

(Rev Dr. Kitiona Tausi)

The employees of the Public Works Department are working hard on some of government’s building projects which are part of government’s preparation for the upcoming important regional meetings to be held in Tuvalu.

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One of the ministers’ home being rebuilt and the new underground water cistern has been completed

The PWD foreman taking charge of the work here states that they have completed the water cistern and they are now concentrating on the foundation of the house.

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The water cistern project between the Vaiaku Vaialofa Church and the Office of the Tuvalu National Provident Fund is progressing well

One other major project is being carried out by a private construction company and working on a very big underground water cistern behind the Vaiaku Vaialofa Church building.



The new storage space at the end of the airfield

(Rev Dr. Kitiona Tausi)

The Public Works Department has built a temporary storage facility at the southern end of the airfield for its cargo, mainly sand and gravels. The Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Public Utilities and Industries, Mrs Siemai Niko told KMT News that PWD need an extra storage facility and space has been the problem and thus, they decided to use this space at the end of the airfield.

KMT News leaned that PWD is undertaking some building projects on the capital, for example the construction of the new Government House, the Residence of the Governor General, one B Grade House, one of the Cabinet Ministers’ home, 9 bungalows at the Queen Elizabeth II Park;

While the residence of Governor General is being built, the Governor General is now occupying another Government B Grade House.


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


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