Marshall Islands

RMI Ministry of Health benefited from Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change Project

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The RMI Ministry of Health, and the Office of Environmental Planning & Policy Coordination, (OEPPC) under the Office of the President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, signed a Memorandum of Understanding, to initiate the delivery, installation and maintenance of 58 solar pumps and 168 solar panels to the Outer Islands Dispensary System under the RMI Ministry of Health.

The MOU signed on April 23, 2014, defines the working relationship between the two agencies in order to implement the delivery, installation and monitoring of the solar panels and pumps.

The 58 solar pumps, also called as solar water purifiers, are able to convert salt/brackish water into safe drinking water by water condensation or evaporation process. The units were purchased from Fcubed Australia at a cost of AU$96,858 under the Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change, (PACC) Project.

Honorable Wilbur Heine, RMI Minister-In-Assistance to the President, and Honorable Phillip H. Muller, RMI Minister of Health signed the MOU for the project in the presence of His Excellency

President Loeak and other RMI Cabinet Ministers, Senior Government and Majuro Hospital Officials who were also present to witness the signing ceremony held at the Marshall Islands Resorts Conference Room.

The PACC project began in October 2009 after the signing of the MOU between SPREP/OEPPC and later extended to 2014, and it was funded through the Global Environmental Facility’s Special Climate Change Fund of US$13 million, and the Australian Agency for International Development fund of US$7.8 million.

Minister Heine and Minister Muller signing the RMI PACC MOU as H.E. President Loeak, (center) and other officials looked on.

The project was implemented by SPREP/UNDP for three sectors, namely agriculture, coastal management, and water. It is currently the largest climate change adaptation initiative in the Pacific Islands Forum Region.

The project three main components, 1) demonstrations of adaptation measures, 2) mainstreaming climate risks into national policies, and 3) planning and sharing knowledge to build adaptive capacity, are achieved through integrated and coordinated approach to climate change.

The RMI PACC main focus is on raising awareness on climate change, and the first phase was through improving the storage capacity of the MWSC Reservoir near the Majuro Airport. The main demonstration at the airport reservoir for relining and applying cover to the tanks at the airport reservoir was fully completed on April 12, 2014.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Minister Muller acknowledged the importance of the solar water purifiers’ project to the people of the Marshall Islands, especially to the Outer Islands Dispensaries.

“The dispensaries will have pure clean water for use. The purifiers are able to generate approximately 50 to 80 gallons of fresh, clean water a day, and they will be delivered and installed in all of the Outer Islands Dispensaries at the earliest time as possible” said Minister Muller.

Minister Muller also shared that the water generated from the solar pumps can also be utilized to assist the people in the Outer Island Communities who are in need of fresh water. Many Marshall Islanders in the outer atolls will get a much welcome relief in the coming weeks as these mini solar powered desalination units will begin to be deployed aiding the supply of critical fresh water.

Minister Muller also acknowledged and praised the Office of Environmental Planning, Policy Coordination, (OEPPC) for its big part in the project, as well as many others who are involved with the project. END//

Media contact: Ben Kiluwe (+692) 625 3445