The people of Eastern Ambae of Penama Province in Vanuatu will for the first time enjoy a sustainable supply of safe water through an USD4million project supported by the Pacific Environment Fund (PEC Fund) that is coordinated by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS).
Present to witness the handover of the newly installed solar powered desalination plant at Lolowai Health Care Centre in Eastern Ambae on Thursday, 26 February 2015 were senior representatives from the Embassy of Japan to Fiji, Vanuatu Government and Provincial offices, the Forum Secretariat and the beneficiaries of the project, the people and residents of Eastern Ambae.
The handover was attended by Hon. Esmon Sae, Minister of Infrastructure and Public Utilities, Hon. George Wells, Minister of Health and Hon. Ralph Regenvanu Minister of Lands of the Vanuatu Government.
The installation of the solar powered desalination plant will supply 100,000 litres of water per day for the Lolowai Health Centre and the people of Eastern Ambae who used to be heavy reliant on rainwater. The use of the solar system is also the latest innovation, eliminating the burden of costs of buying fuel and providing an environmentally friendly alternative for the residents.
Honourable James Bule, Minister, Ministry of Climate Change Adaptation in Vanuatu, said this is indeed another milestone which strengthens the ties of regional and international friendship and collaboration between the Government and People of Japan and Vanuatu, through the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.
“The Vanuatu Government highly appreciates the four million USD allocated to construct a solar powered desalination plant on the island of Ambae and another desalination plant on the island of Aniwa.”
“These two islands often suffer with lack of water during long droughts and during natural disasters where water is not easily accessible or contaminated,” added Honourable James Bule.
“The installation of this solar powered desalination plant is an important and timely one. Lolowai Health Centre can now supply safe and sustained supply of water and the lives of patients and the quality of service that the health centre is able to provide to patients will no longer be at risk,” said Mr. Alex Knox, Director Strategic Partnership and Coordination Programme, PIFS.
Mr. Knox acknowledged the Government and the people of Japan for their financial contribution to the project.
“As we witness today, your assistance has directly made a positive impact on the standard of living of the people in this beautiful island.”