Cyclone Gita has caused extensive damage in the Pacific.  The Rotary response is though Rotary New Zealand World Community Service - information on how to support the relief effort is here and below will be media releases detailsing the evolving circumstance by date.
Four Donation Options     Quoting      Activity No. 333
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Cheque to                   RNZWCS Limited (Rotary New Zealand), PO Box 20309, Christchurch 8543
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Read on for media updates:
702 ERKs distributed helping 4,200+ people so far
The distribution of ERKs continues along with food parcels and tarpaulins supplied by ADRA
Thanks to ADRA in Samoa, Tongan Community Development Trust and MORDI Trust in Tonga who have provided power and logistics for a timely response.
Thanks also to the National Disaster Management Offices (NDMOs) and MFATs New Zealand Aid Programme for their assistance in both countries.
Events like Cyclone Gita reinforce the benefit for collaboration within the country officials and likeminded NGOs.
RNZWCS has lodged a competitive grant bid with MFAT to support the need for maintaining food security.
Thanks to all those who have contributed to date. ERK’s have also been distributed in Samoa on Upolu and Savaii Islands thanks to Rotary Samoa partnering with ADRA.
In Tonga and Samoa, 666 ERKs have assisted over 4,000 people.
Donations ARE NOW NEEDED TO allow shipment of replacement stock and replenish for further pre positioning.
With Cyclone Gita bearing down on New Zealand, we may all imagine to some extent how cyclones affect the people of the Pacific.
For past few days we have been getting regular updates from both Tonga and Samoa.
Samoa’s more robust infrastructure is such that cyclones do not have the same impact.
However Rotarians have been out delivering Rotary New Zealand’s Emergency Response Kits to families referred to them by Samoa’s NDMO (National Disaster Management Office)
Each Kit supplemented with a sack of rice and two boxes of food.   In Tonga, the NDMO continues to refer cases to Rotary.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs has allocated up to $750,000 of contestable funding for accredited NGOs (RNZWCS Limited being one) to support communities in Tonga and Samoa affected by the cyclone to assist with the immediate response and early recovery, and to strengthen longer-term resilience of affected communities.
RNZWCS will bid for an activity in response to the issues of either Food Security or WASH which are a priority.
We appreciate all those who have responded to the Appeal both from within and outside Rotary to replace the ERKs and for other support.
Rotary New Zealand is receiving regular bulletins from its trusted partners in Tonga.  Rotary Tonga, Tonga Community Development Trust (TCDT) and Mainstreaming of Rural Development Innovation Tonga Trust (MORDI) personnel with their volunteers are working tirelessly distributing Rotary New Zealand’s Emergency Response Kits..
“What a Valentines Day- working to put a smile on the people's faces” said Rotary’s Tonga Humanitarian Support Coordinator Masha Surofv.
TCDT’s CEO Sione Fakaosi’s view is “Cyclone Gita has impacted greatly on the livelihoods, especially the agricultural sector on Tongatapu. The people of Tongatapu will experience severe food shortage in the next 6 to 12 months. Some of the fruit trees, such as bananas and breadfruit will take much longer before they will bear fruit again. The most vulnerable communities, especially those located in the low lying areas will also take much longer to recover their food security. It is also very likely that the cost of domestic agricultural food will increase dramatically in the next 12 months.  In my experience with the government recovery programs from previous cyclones, they will introduce policies to encourage short term gardening for immediate food security. The government usually cover the cost and provide planting materials and land preparation to farmers to plant short term food crops, such as, sweet potatoes, potatoes, vegetables like tomatoes, lettuce, cabbage, corn, etc. It is aimed primarily for subsistence use and food security. It will benefit those that have good piece of land either at home or in the bush.  It will definitely rule out those vulnerable homes in the flooding areas and without fertile soil in their home. Those vulnerable homes that do not have soil to plant any food crops need help in the recovery of food security.”
Rotary New Zealand will be work with its Tonga partners to address food security concerns and other pressing issues in the coming months. Rotary New Zealand spokesperson Stuart Batty says “the support for our Pacific neighbours immediately after a cyclone has become almost predictable. Many organisations respond with a flush of emotion and compassion providing essential provisions for survival, but if the pattern follows that of Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu in 2015 and Cyclone Winston in 2016, come Easter, Tonga’s most vulnerable will become long suffering. You only have to visit parts of Fiji two years on from Cyclone Winston to see children still being taught in now rotting tents because promises of rebuilding schools by international donors to a large extent have not materialised.” Rotary in fact is one of the few that has lived up to its promise, but needs more donors to assist them.”
The good news from the NDMO last night. “By midday today Friday, everyone will be either back in their homes or have adequate shelter. 1,000 homes were affected to a greater or lesser extent. Tonga’s infrastructure has been able to return Tongatapu to some normality with roads cleared, services restored etc.” The NDMO’s statement would suggest Rotary has responded to 55% homes affected with ERKs. $330k is needed to replace the ERKs distributed, so please support us. At least two ERKs from every club in New Zealand districts is needed.
Worth noting, only two islands of Tonga were affected. Tongatapu and Eua.  133 ERKs by Tonga Navy to Eua with 5 volunteers travelling with them and a truck supplied. At last report, no other NGO has responded to the people of Eua.
Thank you to those who have already responded including many individual members who have been in contact with us.
We also need cash donations  as soon as possible to allow us to remit to Tonga to ensure that they are able to purchase and distribute other essential items incl. food parcels and water. Fiji Rotary is on board with this one.
Email received from Tonga Incoming President Masha
“What a Valentine Day- working to put a smile on the people's faces, as my friend Na'a (TCDT) told. Thank You to Stuart James Batty for great level of team building from country to country. Thank You to our partners, TCDT and MORDI Tonga, for helping with distribution of Rotary Emergency Response Kits to our people. The resident of Longolongo got in touch with us through Rotary Club's FB page, telling us, there was a family, which needed our help- Na'a and I we decided to go to see those people and to deliver the Kit personally. Distribution of the Kits shall continue today and tomorrow, as long as we have Kits available, and report will be delivered to RNZWCS. Sorry for being so late, but now we are with you. Stay safe, and Ofa Atu❤”
Thank you to Rotary Tonga Incoming President Masha and Volunteers organised by TCDT and MORDI
We have been in phone contact with our in country partners,  Rotary Tonga and two local NGO’s with which Rotary has had a historical track record.
Everyone has been affected by Cyclone Gita on Tongatapu including Rotary members with some major damage to their homes.The club is small in number and the President is overseas. It has fallen to the incoming President, a relatively new Rotarian to manage and we are giving her every encouragement.
To relieve the pressure on the Rotary Club, the Emergency Response Kits, some 550 are being distributed today by the partners and above all coordinated to ensure that the kits get to the most needy with no duplication.The National Disaster Management Office and other agencies have been slow to move and once again Rotary Emergency Response Kits are the first support many are receiving. In the coming days we will be working with the partners to provide them with the resources to provide more support.
Rotary New Zealand in collaboration with Rotary Tonga, and other trusted partners in the region has launched an appeal for cash donations to provide practical support for families affected by Cyclone Gita. Catastrophic damage from the cyclone and resulting flooding are of major concern throughout the impacted region, including schools, health and community centres.
Many are providing emergency shelter to vulnerable people, whose homes have been severely damaged due to violent winds, falling trees and flooding. To date there have been no recorded deaths, but estimates suggest many thousands of people have been affected and are now in need of immediate and ongoing humanitarian assistance.
Rotary New Zealand in collaboration with the Tonga National Disaster Management Office have responded with the release of the first 500 Rotary Emergency Response Kits (Kits) this morning prepositioned in Tonga prior to the cyclone season which will be supplemented with supplies of food and safe drinking water by our partners and other NGOs. Providing support for those who are able to remain in their homes, is also a priority providing basic supplies for their health and wellbeing at a time of traumatic physical and mental anguish.
Without the intervention from organisations such as Rotary New Zealand and in country Rotary clubs and trusted partners, there is always a heightened risk of waterborne diseases.