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Nuku’alofa – August 28, 2019: 12.30pm (RNZI): Government says multi-lateral agencies such as the World Bank are to blame for delays in the reconstruction of schools on Tongatapu.

The lack of progress, which has left a number of schools still using tents as classrooms 17 months after the cyclone, has been drawing criticism in recent weeks.

The government has rejected the accusations and its spokesperson, Lopeti Senituli, says the government has had no control over the hold up, but it has been assured repairs to the schools will start soon.

“The people that are administering the World Bank fund and the multi-lateral development agency funds, have promised that the re-construction will begin by September/October and that the students should be able, when the new school term starts next year, that the students should be returning to their newly constructed schools rooms.”

Prime Minister Hon Akilisi Pohiva had also told the media last week that the system used by the agencies was cause of delay.

“We want to move things but we have to follow the processes and this has taken time,” he said.

“We apologise to the people but we have to wait for the process to be done.”


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