This blog is dedicated to all Tuvaluans. Our little corner to share and voice our concerns on any issue, even criticise government.

Friday, 1 June 2012


I cry for our future

Stories is all we can do to make our small voices heard by big countries. The small island developing states are writing the stories of their future,” said Veerle Vandeweerd, director of the environment and energy group at the U.N. Development Programme.
They point towards a time when respiratory illness from cooking over smoky stoves is no longer a primary cause of death for the women and children of poor households; where girls can go to school instead of collecting firewood; and where students have light to study through the night for exams if they so choose.
Tuvalu has made a bold commitment to shift to 100% renewable electricity by 2020. It plans to have 100 % renewable energy soon. This is the best news i have read so far in relation to Tuvalu. However it needs funds.

Tokelau took the lead in going green energy while Tuvalu and the Cook Islands plans for 2020. Tuvalu should have done away with diesel long time ago, however leaders took their time.
Tuvalu is known for its ever shining sun so our governments should have thought about that long time ago. It is estimated that oil imports account for up to 30 percent of national income. Tuvalu always has to spend more than one million each year to provide power for the people on the main island of Funafuti only while the outer islands have to make do with a few hours of lights on and more hours of lights off in order to save fuel. It's not very fair for the people on the outer islands and a lot of funds have been wasted on buying diesel in order to light up the islands.

The money that is usually spent on importing fuel could be used to boost jobs, healthcare and education, or invested in new farming practices to keep yields up amid climate shifts or initiatives to cope with rising sea levels. Like most islands in the South Pacific, it has been among the first nations to be hard hit by climate change. With most of the island at less than 3 feet above sea level, and with the oceans rising at an alarming rate, Tuvalu is at high risk of becoming uninhabitable. Tuvalu has a population of just over 10,500 people who always constantly worrying about what will happen next, so i congratulated the minds behind this intiative.

The effort kicked off with a 40 kw rooftop solar system that supplies 5% of the capital city of Funafuti's power. In just over a year of producing electricity, the solar plant replaced the need to import approximately 4,500 gallons of diesel fuel and decreased the nation's carbon footprint by 50 tons. The installation was donated by e8, an international non-profit organization made up of 10 major electricity companies from the G8 nations.

The next project in line was a 46 kilowatt solar power system that has been installed on the local secondary school for an estimated cost of $800,000. The island also is making use of biogas from pig manure. With the support of ADEME and UNDP, a training program for biogas installation was implemented on the island.

This shows that Tuvalu doesn't only want industiralised countries to reduce gas emmission but is also playing it's parts in it's efforts to maintain its island which have been predicted to disappear in another fifty years.

I am sure that this is not the work of the current government , not that i have anything against them but as a member of the Alofa Tuvalu (LOVE TUVALU) Asociation which comprises a few Tuvaluans and French experts who understands the plight of the Tuvaluans. The notion have been planted long time ago into the minds of Tuvalu leaders but action was so slow.

$20 million will be needed to reach the goal of carbon neutrality. To put that in perspective, if everyone in Australia or metropolitan New York City give about $1 USD, Tuvalu could reach their goal. And if there is a hope of saving islands like Tuvalu from going under water, the world will also need to rapidly switch to 100% renewable energy, reforest, as well as conserve and more efficiently use energy.

Island of Tuvalu: Help my island, it's too beautiful to disappear under water.

Photo credit: Stefan Lins

Monday, 21 May 2012

Tuvalu should change to anti-whaling

HE IS OUT AND IS BACK WHERE HE BELONGS. Cheers for old Shepherd.

Jailing someone who has been doing a good deed is just absurd. Well, that just what happens to Paul Watson, the founder and leader of the aggressive and highly effective marine conservation group 'SeaShepherd.'  But now he is out of jail and can continue from where he left off.
Ecological Internet strongly supports the Sea Sherperd and their forthcoming global campaign to save sharks from extinction. We agree with Captain Hammarstedt that Captain Paul Watson belongs on a ship on the high seas protecting the sharks, whales and other marine life , not in some jail cell here in Germany.
 The Canadian national, whose group annually disrupts Japan's whale hunt, has been held in custody for more than a week as investigators examine charges against him that stem from a confrontation in Costa Rica in 2002.

I hate sharks because they are after all terrible things. They live in our waters and they have been known to eat sailors or fishermen whose boats had been capsized.  It is Shepherd’s efforts to protect marine life like whales that I really admire.Tuvaluans believe that whales are taboo mammals of the sea that shouldn’t be killed nor disturbed. They believe that they are helpers of the human race during times of disasters at sea. There have been stories told by fishermen in Tuvalu of how they have been saved by a whale when their boat capsized at sea during stormy weather. I remember how my uncle who was known as one the great fisherman on my island of Nanumaga in the Tuvaluan group, together with some men tried to help a whale which had washed up o n our shore. They tied ropes to its tail and pull with all their might and the whale slid back into the sea. I asked him then, why did you have to save that thing putting your life at risk? He answered, whales are human in many ways, and they cry, they have tears, they have hairs and they have been protecting our ancestors and their ancestors when they go out to sea. I thought then that it was utter stupidity.

Now, I think that they deserved a life just like we do because they are such cute and wonderful things to watch. Although in Tuvalu we don’t receive a lot of tourists or whale watching sites, my heart always goes out to children whom I always saw running on the shore saw following a school of whales they saw at sea.

Tuvalu and other countries like Palau, Cape Verde, Gabon, Nauru, and land-bound Mongolia joined the International Whaling Commission much to the dismay of countries like Australia who operates whale watching activities for tourist attraction. In an interview with the Secretary to Government, Panapasi Nelesone who was Tuvalu’s representative to the last  IWC meeting, he said Tuvalu stand is for the sustainable harvesting of whales.  This doesn’t make sense. If Japan and other pro whaling countries harvested the whales since it is a favorite delicacy in their restaurants or for fashion, will they kill in a sustainable way for the name of ‘money?’ I don’t think so. They will kill as much as they can because the more they kill the more they sell and the more money they get.

I feel that Tuvalu should change its stand to anti-whaling, considering that some families in Tuvalu still calls on the whales for help when they faced disasters at sea and to let the future generations of Tuvalu experienced the informal whale watching fun.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Sickening flashback

Tuvalu is set for another visit from the Royal since the last visit by Queen Elizabeth II more than two decades ago. Will the locals this time also carry members of the Royal family in a canoe on their shoulders as was the practise? I'm sure they will and i wish i can shout 'NO' but who will hear our small voices.
It was hilarous then when i saw local man carrying the Queen Elizabeth II and her husband in a canoe in 1982, I thought they look so stupid because they look so tired under the weight of the canoe and the Royal passenger sitting upright. There were  also two  young girls, each  holding an umbrella to shade the Queen and husband from the schorching sun of Tuvalu.

On December 14, 2011 it was announced that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would be visiting Tuvalu in 2012. This visit is part of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Tour, where Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, celebrate the event with series of regional visits and engagements throughout the United Kingdom during 2012.

Tuvalu Prince Philip Stamp
Prince Philip arriving at Vaitupu, Tuvalu in 1959

Stop it!!!!! It's hilariously embarrasing!!!
What I am talking about could be clearly seen in the Tuvalu stamp above. This is utter embarrasment if you know the history of Tuvalu well and then look at the picture in the stamp above. Tuvaluans carrying Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness. The canoe carrying and other extensive preparations had been the sights in Tuvalu every time there was a visit from the Royal family. And you think that they are strong. However maybe that's why some of the men died young because of such stupid activities.

Not only that, I am sure that there are also other  preparations going on in the nation for the arrival of the Royal contingent. But why should they all go to that extend? What did Britain ever did for us to make life better for our people in the small nation? When Tuvalu known then as the Ellice Islands, separated from Kiribati in 1971, England punished Ellice for wanting to be independent by giving her one old passenger boat MV Nivaga I and nothing else.

Although it was the custom and tradition, I do not want to see locals tireless wasting their energy on making everything good and right for the Royals. They should spend time and energy thinking about plans to make their life better and plans to protect the islands from impacts of climate change or better plans to move the people to another place if worse comes to worse.

Thinking about the past visits of the Royal family, the only media in Tuvalu always reported about the preparations being made, why? Is it to make other countries think that Tuvaluans are so happy to have the Royals step on their soil? But they never reported on how much the government spent on these preparations and the banquets.These money could have been put to better use like increasing the benefit of the old people who are only getting AUS $50.00 a month or improving education facilities in the only secondary school on the island or even the Primary schools.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Gold rush gets tar

Pacific islanders always think of USA, Australia and New Zealand as the ideal place to live given the richness of their lands and the availability of resources. Maybe to some Pacific islanders, it is Paradise.
However Pacific islanders must always think long and hard before deciding to migrate to foreign countries like USA, Australia and New Zealand. First, it will be hard for an outsider to find a good job except as cleaners or seasonal workers. One understands that if a person doesn't earn enough, then he/she will find other means of getting money. That's how crimes resulted.

About one in five female prisoners in the Australian state of Victoria are of Vietnamese origin. Most are in prison for drug-related offences. Many do not speak English. The government department responsible for managing jails in the southern state confirmed that a disproportionate number of Vietnamese-born women are in prison. Figures released to Radio Australia indicate there are at present 55 Vietnamese-born female detainees in the two state women's prisons.That is about 20 per cent of the state's total female prisoner population. Thirty-nine of the Vietnamese have been sentenced and 16 are unsentenced.

If it can happen to Vietnamese, it can also happen or is also happening to Pacific islanders. In the recent years, a lot of Pacific islanders have emigrated to countries abroad but what are the benefits of the move they have made? Although there have been no reports yet of the kind of life Pacific islanders lead in foreign countries, i tell you,  from the stories that these people have shared with their families back home, it has led me to believe that people should think long and hard before moving out of their countries. At special times of the year, Tuvaluans return from overseas to celebrate a loved one's birthday and these are the stories that they have shared with families.
Cleaner: "Life there  in New Zealand is all work, you clean at one place, if you finish there you go to another place, the more places you clean to more money you get. You can't get a job, you die."

In a telephone conversation with an elderly Tuvaluan man in NZ recently, i asked him what is the most popular form of work for the Tuvaluans and other Pacific islanders.

Old man: "I have lived here for more than thirty years, i have been cleaning from the day i set foot here and until five years ago when old age has stopped me from doing strenuous work, This is also the same with my brother and sisters from Tuvalu.We thought we brought our families to better life, better education, but everything here is expensive except for food, most teenagers from Pacific families are just roaming the towns i bet up to no-good and are not attending school."

In Tuvalu there are sex services( prostitution activities) due to our culture and morals that we learnt since childhood. I am afraid that with the exposure to such activities that our young girls are getting in other countries, circumstances like poverty because of unemployment will lead them to such immoral activities.

Please people, think and think again for it.