Tuvalu News

Tuvalu Echoes - April to July 2001


Eighteen young men of the 54th course successfully graduated on April 20 this year after their one-year training at the Tuvalu Maritime Training Institute. The graduates were awarded with certificates which marked the achievement of their performances and efforts at the school.

The Hon Prime Minister Faimalaga Luka was made guest of honour during the Passing out parade. The ceremony began with a welcoming speech from the Captain Superintendent of the Institute, Tito Tapugao before the guest of honour made his official address.

In his speech Hon Luka congratulated the 18 trainees and reminded them to behave themselves whenever they find employment overseas as there were too many seamen dismissed from overseas ships due to the problem of alcohol abuse.

The ceremony was also highlighted with the presentation of special prizes to the four best young men from each department.

These include the catering prize which was awarded to Toromoni Simeon of Nanumea. Tanielu Penipelite of Funafuti was awarded with the Engine prize, Lanesi Maleko of Nanumea took the Deck prize while the Overall best prize was received by Elia Boreham of Nui.

The Prize giving was followed with a special feast held at the Faimalaga falekaupule and ended with the performance of local dancing from the outgoing trainees.




More than thirty students at Motufoua Secondary School were infected by the outbreak of Typhoid Fever May this year. The epidemic was believed to have occurred as a result of poor sanitation and the downgraded of toilet facilities. A government delegation visited the island of Vaitupu to carry out a situation analysis of the epidemic and they included the Deputy Secretary to Government, Simeti Lopati, Chief of Public Health, Dr Stephen Homers, the Acting Director of Works, Tuisiga Saitala and two of his staff Kaisami and Sakaio. Mr Simeti Lopati said they found the major problems which may have causes the disease such as the shortage of water supply at the school due to leakage to water cisterns, poor condition of the school clinic and the overcrowding of students. The lack of eating and cooking utensils, shortage of equipment and stoves in the school's kitchen is also a problem at Motutoua. In the meantime, the toilet facilities at the school had been improved and upgraded with the intention that the students need to have proper places of living to protect them tom being infected by such diseases in the future.


The white and sandy beach of the main capital city of Funafuti was cited as another drinking place for alcohol users. This was witnessed by most of the residents living closer to the sea after the introduction of the first operation organized by the Tuvalu Police Force. The first operation known as Drinking in Prohibited Area (DIPA) was to enable the Police personnel to patrol and control drunken people from using prohibited areas as their places of drinking alcohol.

Apart from this, the operation also concentrated in the controlling and preventing of drunken people from driving while under the influence of alcohol. Tuvalu Echoes believed that during the very first day of the operation. the central Police cell was reported to have almost occupied by about twenty to thirty drunken people who were squashed in for a night out from their normal homes.

Under the operation, people who were unable to abide with the law were taken into custody by the police officers. The operation was also witnessed as an unforgettable move ever known in the latest centuries for bringing peace, soundless nights and unusual serenity for Funafuti residents in weekends.

Some of the residents who lived closer to the main roads commented that they could now sleep calmly without any disturbance of the usual peculiar weekends prior to the implementation of the operation. The new life is experienced by people as very unusual because drunken people normally woke them up from their slumbers as a result of their screams, arguments but worst of all the driving speed of their motorbikes in the middle of the night. The DIPA operation, which began in April 12 2001, turned out successfully while the majority of the residents were in doubts or when will be the next operation.

The Force continued to its second operation known as the slaying of dogs (LIKU) in late April this year. According to reports from the Police Force, the operation was to check and ensure that dogs had been licensed in the Funafuti Kaupule while the unlicensed ones had to be slaughtered.

The operation was reported to have been progressing well where over two hundred dogs were killed. It was believed that the second operation had made a fast reduction to the number of dogs, which were also identified as abusing road and vehicle users especially in the nights.

The third operation was also reported to be progressing well as a follow up of the other two previous operations. The fourth operation known as drinking under ages, illegal selling of alcohol (DUISA) was also reported to have run smoothly. The Police Officers carried out this operation to be on the look out for drunken teenagers under 18 years old and people who were selling goods and beverages illegally.

The Acting Superintendent, Luka Falefou said the operations had given them a good opportunity to reinstate and maintain their working relationships with members of the public despite the fact that they had transportation and financial constraints in achieving their desires.

Mr. Luka urges members of the public to continue with their cooperative assistance in reinforcing and promoting peace and harmony in the main settlement. It is being planned that the Force will continue with these operations until August this year.


The former High Commissioner of Tuvalu to Fiji will take up a new post in New York.

Enele Sopoaga is now Tuvalu's first permanent representative to the United Nation in New York. Mr Sopoaga said he will spend three weeks in Fiji to prepare his credentials and other paper work before leaving for New York.

He's been Tuvalu's High Commissioner to Fiji in the past five years. Mr Sopoaga who was accompanied by his family will hold his new post for a period of three to four years.

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