Friday 23 May 2014, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva, Fiji. The Secretariat of the Pacific Community’s Economic Development Division (EDD) and Applied Geoscience and Technology Division (AGTD) recently collaborated to coordinate a regional poster competition as a way to raise awareness about water and energy.
The theme of the competition was ‘Save Water, Save Energy for the Pacific’, and invitations were sent out to all water and energy focal points in the Pacific region.
An overwhelming 200 entries were received, with Sipili Samisoni from Jai Narayan College, Fiji winning the first prize of USD 500. The second prize (USD 300) went to Kelera Yabakivou and John Sito of Lautoka Primary School, Fiji, and the third prize (USD 250) was awarded to Flornie Romblon Malinao from Niue High School.
An ecstatic Sipili, who did not expect to win, said he was encouraged to take part by his mother, someone he says has been his source of inspiration and strength.
The 15 year-old Suva student said, ‘Water is something that is very important, we save water, we save energy. I think all Pacific Islanders should start thinking about conserving water since it’s a valuable resource.’
The competition was organised as one of many activities to commemorate World Water Day, 22 March. This year’s theme was ‘Water and Energy’. Aside from the competition, AGTD ‘s Water and Sanitation Programme also developed posters and stickers that were sent out to all Pacific Island countries and territories. National events were celebrated in some countries, including Fiji, Marshall Islands, Samoa, Niue and Cook Islands.
Water and energy are closely interlinked, energy generation and transmission requires utilisation of water resources. Energy is needed to pump, treat and distribute water to Pacific households; water is also an important energy source in several Pacific Island countries, where the energy of rivers and streams is harnessed by hydro-electric facilities at the municipal, village and even household scale.
The prizes were sponsored by EDD’s Energy Programme through funding from the Australian government.