52129-001: Cyclone Gita Recovery Project | Asian Development Bank

Tonga: Cyclone Gita Recovery Project

Sovereign (Public) Project | 52129-001 Status: Approved

The project will support the efforts of the Government of Tonga to reconstruct and climate- and disaster-proof the Nuku'alofa electricity network that was damaged by Tropical Cyclone Gita in February 2018.

Project Details

Project Officer
Uusimaa, Hanna K. Pacific Department Request for information
  • Tonga
  • Energy
Project Name Cyclone Gita Recovery Project
Project Number 52129-001
Country Tonga
Project Status Approved
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Grant
Source of Funding / Amount
Grant 0575-TON: Cyclone Gita Recovery Project
concessional ordinary capital resources lending / Asian Development Fund US$ 6.80 million
Strategic Agendas Environmentally sustainable growth
Inclusive economic growth
Drivers of Change Gender Equity and Mainstreaming
Governance and capacity development
Knowledge solutions
Sector / Subsector

Energy / Electricity transmission and distribution

Gender Equity and Mainstreaming Some gender elements
Description The project will support the efforts of the Government of Tonga to reconstruct and climate- and disaster-proof the Nuku'alofa electricity network that was damaged by Tropical Cyclone Gita in February 2018.
Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

The Kingdom of Tonga consists of 172 islands, 36 of which are inhabited. The total population is about 107,000 people, of which almost two-thirds live on the main island of Tongatapu, home to the country's capital of Nuku'alofa. Based on its exposure, susceptibility, and coping and adaptive capacities, Tonga has been ranked second only to Vanuatu among the countries in the world most at risk of disasters caused by natural hazards. In any given year, it is likely that Tonga is either hit by a major natural disaster or is recovering from a previous one.

The country is already experiencing the effects of climate change. Increasing variability in rainfall patterns is causing flooding and droughts in some locations. Increasing ocean temperature has led to coral bleaching and destruction of natural coastal barriers, and sea level rise is contributing to coastal erosion. These changes have heightened Tonga's exposure to disasters brought about by tropical cyclones and storm surges, which have inflicted significant losses on the economy. For example, a cyclone in 2002 resulted in losses of $60 million, and losses from another one in 2010 reached $22 million. Tropical Cyclone Ian in 2014 resulted in total damage and losses of about $50 million. Tonga is also located within the Pacific _ring of fire,_ which is associated with extreme seismic activity.

Tonga is expected to incur, on average, $15.5 million per year in losses from earthquakes and tropical cyclones. In the next 50 years, Tonga has a 50% chance of experiencing a loss exceeding $175 million and casualties higher than 440 people, and a 10% chance of experiencing a loss exceeding $430 million and casualties higher than 1,700 people. These figures could increase if the impacts of climate change are considered.

The emergency. Tropical Cyclone Gita hit Tonga on 12 and 13 February 2018. It caused widespread destruction on Tongatapu, including Nuku'alofa, and the neighboring island of Eua. With average wind speeds of 130 kilometers per hour, and gusts of up to 195 kilometers per hour, it was the strongest cyclone to directly hit Tongatapu and Eua since severe Cyclone Isaac in March 1982. An accompanying storm surge reached 1 meter above normal high-tide levels, and 200 millimeters of rain fell within 24 hours, resulting in localized flooding. It is estimated that more than 80,000 people (or about 80% of the population of Tonga) were directly affected. The destructive winds, storm surges, and flooding brought down power lines; damaged and destroyed schools, resulting in closures; destroyed crops and fruit trees; and damaged public buildings, including the domestic airport, the Parliament building, and Tonga meteorological services. Nearly 5,000 houses were either destroyed or damaged. The government declared a state of emergency for the whole of Tonga on 12 February 2018.


More reliable and safe energy services (Tonga Strategic Development Framework 2015 2025)

More reliable and safe buildings and structures to improve services and maintenance, save on energy usage, and increase resilience to disasters

Project Outcome
Description of Outcome Reliable electricity supply in Nuku'alofa priority areas restored
Progress Toward Outcome
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs Priority sections of Nuku'alofa electricity network rehabilitated and upgraded
Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)
Geographical Location Nation-wide
Safeguard Categories
Environment B
Involuntary Resettlement C
Indigenous Peoples C
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects
Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design
During Project Implementation
Responsible ADB Officer Uusimaa, Hanna K.
Responsible ADB Department Pacific Department
Responsible ADB Division Transport, Energy and Natural Resources Division, PARD
Executing Agencies
Ministry of Finance and National Planning
Vuna Road
Kingdom of Tonga
Concept Clearance -
Fact Finding 23 Apr 2018 to 27 Apr 2018
MRM 11 May 2018
Approval 15 Jun 2018
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 19 Jun 2018

Grant 0575-TON

Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
15 Jun 2018 02 Jul 2018 - 31 Dec 2020 - -
Financing Plan Grant Utilization
Total (Amount in US$ million) Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Project Cost 9.42 Cumulative Contract Awards
ADB 6.80 15 Jun 2018 0.00 0.00 0%
Counterpart 2.62 Cumulative Disbursements
Cofinancing 0.00 15 Jun 2018 0.00 0.00 0%

Project Data Sheets (PDS) contain summary information on the project or program. Because the PDS is a work in progress, some information may not be included in its initial version but will be added as it becomes available. Information about proposed projects is tentative and indicative.

The Public Communications Policy (PCP) recognizes that transparency and accountability are essential to development effectiveness. It establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced.

The Accountability Mechanism provides a forum where people adversely affected by ADB-assisted projects can voice and seek solutions to their problems and report alleged noncompliance of ADB's operational policies and procedures.

In preparing any country program or strategy, financing any project, or by making any designation of, or reference to, a particular territory or geographic area in this document, the Asian Development Bank does not intend to make any judgments as to the legal or other status of any territory or area.

Safeguard Documents See also: Safeguards

Safeguard documents provided at the time of project/facility approval may also be found in the list of linked documents provided with the Report and Recommendation of the President.

Title Document Type Document Date
Cyclone Gita Recovery Project: Environmental Assessment and Review Framework Environmental Assessment and Review Framework May 2018

Evaluation Documents See also: Independent Evaluation

None currently available.

Related Publications

None currently available.

The Public Communications Policy (PCP) establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced in its operations to facilitate stakeholder participation in ADB's decision-making. For more information, refer to the Safeguard Policy Statement, Operations Manual F1, and Operations Manual L3.

Requests for information may also be directed to the InfoUnit.