Assisting The Communities Of The Outer Islands Of The Federated States Of Micronesia To Increase Access To Safe And Clean Water During Severe Weather Events.

One of the main objectives of the Adaptation Fund (AF) funded project “Enhancing the climate change resilience of vulnerable island communities in Federated States of Micronesia (FSM)” is to implement priority water security adaptation measures in Satawan and Lukunor of Chuuk, Nukuoro and Kapingamarangi of Pohnpei and Eauripik and Woleai in Yap.

Despite COVID19 restrictions, ground-truthing, community training and water testing missions to Satawan island of Chuuk and Nukuoro and Kapingamarangi islands of Pohnpei were undertaken from April to July 2020 by the FSM AF Project Management Unit (PMU) and State Departments’ technical experts in environment, water and infrastructure.

These assessments are critical in providing baseline information and data that will inform the level of support and resources to restore existing water tanks and wells, new water tanks and select locations for new installations in these island communities with financial support from the project. Using existing expertise from the national and state level is critical in sustaining project funded-adaptation initiatives.

“Consulting communities for guidance to where these water storage infrastructures will be installed is critical to ensure equal access and the selection of the type of tank that can withstand atoll environment conditions” said Mr. Richard Moufa, Project Manager of the FSM AF PMU.

Community coordinators were also provided with State Environment Protection Agency (EPA) information on how to treat water through chlorination and boiling processes. Building materials and tools to repair existing tanks and to prepare sites for new tank installations were also delivered to these communities during the mission given the transportation challenges to these outer islands.

Similar ground-truthing exercises were completed in the State of Yap in early 2020, informing restoration work on existing tanks and wells.

An additional mission to Kapingamarangi and Nukuoro islands in July 2020 was undertaken to conduct training for communities, deliver building materials and start the restoration work on water wells. The community training focussed on the construction of wooden box frames for concreting water wells and how to disassemble these to reuse for similar works in Nukuoro. A total of three representatives were trained in Kapingamarangi however more community representatives were involved in offloading materials.

Morthy Solomon, FSM AF Project Operations and Finance Officer for Pohnpei Sate stated that “it’s very important for the project to recognise and adhere to the cultural requirements and norms in each of these islands and also for the community to be trained and more involved in the implementation of the project in order to strengthen community buy-in and ownership”.

The Adaptation Fund (AF) funded project “Enhancing the climate change resilience of vulnerable island communities in Federated States of Micronesia (FSM)” is a partnership between SPREP and the Government of the Federated States of Micronesia.