EU Funds Rainwater Storage Facilities For Tuvalu
Source: Pacific Magazine
October 29, 2008
The European Union has provided Tuvalu with funds totalling €700,000 (US$892,000) to supply households on Funafuti with additional rainwater storage and distribution.
This project is part of a €9.2 million (US$11.7million) Multi-Country Disaster Risk Reduction Project which is implemented in eight countries with the assistance of the Pacific Islands Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC).
In a small ceremony held today on Funafuti, EU representative, Malcolm Ponton, said that the project was vital for the country because of the increased incidence of drought and the lack of groundwater resources on Funafuti. The additional 3 million litres storage capacity provided by the project will help the country in times of need.
“The focus of the project in Tuvalu is to improve water security and sanitation services and addresses one of the key priorities of the government as most of the population are dependent on rainwater harvesting,” says SOPAC Director, Cristelle Pratt. “The project will improve storage capacity and will contribute towards better health, alleviate poverty and mitigate against vulnerability to drought.”
Approximately 150 ten thousand litre water tanks have been supplied by Rotomould (Tuvalu) Ltd so far with installation underway with the assistance of the Ministry of Public Works and Utilities.
Director of Public Works, Ampelosa Tehulu said the project provides for community self sufficiency and encourages ownership thus reducing the need for relying on government to provide water from their reserves.
The project will also supply a water tanker truck to the government to assist in the distribution of water.
Cristelle said the project will greatly benefit the people of Tuvalu which compliments the policy work and other interventions being undertaken in the water sector through projects such as the EU funded Integrated Water Resources Management National Planning Programme and Pacific Hydrological Climate Observing System.
Ponton said that the EU is in the process of preparing a further programme of support to the water sector in Tuvalu amounting to €4.4m (US$5.6m).