An increased supply of clean and safe water is now accessible to citizens on Peleliu State in the Republic of Palau. A newly installed solar power generation system and salt water desalination plant on Peleliu has increased water supply from 19 litres of rainwater per day to 150 litres for approximately 450 residents.
The President of the Republic of Palau, H.E. Mr. Tommy Esang Remengesau,Jr, the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS), Mr. Tuiloma Neroni Slade and Chargé d’ Affairs at the Embassy of Japan in the Republic of Palau, Mr. Takao Anzawa, were all present at the formal commissioning ceremony held on 25 March on Peleliu State.
“I am delighted to witness the positive impacts this project will bring to the residents of Peleliu,” said Tuiloma Neroni Slade, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. “I acknowledge what this form of Japanese assistance means for communities such as Peleliu where resources are limited and the impacts of climate change are real and threaten the very existence of life on these pristine islands.”
“This project is also an excellent demonstration of the nexus between water and energy through the integration of a salt water desalination plant and a solar powered generation system that will produce safe drinking water. This innovative project is an important achievement by the Government of the Republic of Palau and is proudly supported by the Pacific Environment Community Fund.”
The solar power generation system will also reduce reliance on fossil fuels and carbon emissions for the Government of the Republic of Palau as the solar photovoltaic system will displace the need for approximately 41 tonnes of diesel that would have been needed to operate the desalination plant and it will also reduce carbon emissions of approximately 28 tonnes per annum.
The President of Palau acknowledged the generous support by the Government of Japan through the PEC Fund and the assistance provided by the Forum Secretariat. “This project will be a pilot for Palau and if successful will be replicated to other islands that have the same issues with access to safe water,” said H.E. Mr Remengesau Jr.
The PEC Fund is a commitment by the Government of Japan to provide ¥6.8billion (approximately US$66 million) to Forum Island Countries to tackle environmental issues. Each country is provided with an indicative allocation of USD$4million to support projects with a focus on the provision of solar power generation systems and seawater desalination plants or a combination of both. The fund is administered by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.
To date, the Governments of Samoa, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, Nauru, the Solomon Islands, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Niue, Republic of Palau, Republic of Marshall Islands and Vanuatu have successfully accessed the PEC Fund for national renewable energy and seawater desalination projects.