Palau

SPC EU support for Palau water sector

Wednesday 21 August 2013, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva, Fiji

Water sector infrastructure in Palau will receive a significant boost thanks to the regional Global Climate Change Alliance: Pacific Small Island States (GCCA: PSIS) project, which is funded by the European Union (EU) and executed by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).

This national project, worth €0.5 million (approx. USD 650,000), will be implemented by the Government of Palau and will significantly enhance the operations of the Water and Wastewater Operations department of the Palau Public Utilities Corporation.

‘The project is going to address climate change effects in five outlying states of Palau. That’s Kayangel, Angaur, Peleliu, Hatohobei and Sonsorol. Those are outlying states and they’re not connected to the main water supply,’ says Clarissa Adelbai, Grants Manager, Palau Public Utilities Corporation.

The overall project will be broken down into smaller projects on each island that will specifically address the water issues faced by residents in these remote communities.

‘It’s very important because those are the islands where water resources are affected the most by climate change,’ says Ms Adelbai.

‘It’s the first project to address the water issues for all of the outlying states, so each of the governors and the residents are very appreciative of the project and they all can’t wait for the project to begin.’

With the signature of the President of Palau, Tommy Remengesau Jr. at the end of last month, the agreement has now come into effect.

John Kintaro, Public Relations Officer with the Palau Public Utilities Corporation says the planned activities will make a big difference to people’s lives.

‘Yes, especially in the two southernmost states of Hatohobei and Sonsorol where the existing storage tanks will be repaired. With Kayangel we’re looking at constructing a storage tank for them and in Angaur the system is old and leaking so we plan on doing repairs and installing a backup generator and carbon filters and aerators to the system,’ says Mr Kintaro.

On a case by case basis the project will repair and improve the water infrastructure in the outlying islands to improve water quality, reliability and long-term sustainability. The changes will contribute to the resilience of each island community to the present and anticipated effects of climate variability and change.

The regional GCCA: PSIS project receives €11.4 million in EU funding and provides tailored climate change adaption support to nine small Pacific Island states. In each case, the focus of the project is determined and implemented by the national government.

Support to the country is provided by the specialist staff of SPC, the region’s principal technical and scientific organisation. In Palau, the focus is on water. Separate projects are also being implemented by the governments of Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Tonga and Tuvalu.

For further information contact: Sean Hobbs, Climate Change Communications and Information Officer, seanh@spc.int, +679 337 9451