US$4m PEC Fund grant for Palau

Families and residents of the island State of Peleliu in Palau will soon be enjoying a steady supply of fresh drinking water.

This made possible through the provision of US$4 million for a solar powered desalination project under the Pacific Environment Community (PEC) Fund to the Government of Palau.

Currently, residents of Peleliu rely only on rain water collected for consumption and use saline groundwater for non potable uses. Very recently, the lives of these 400 residents and more have been adversely affected due to uneven and unpredictable distribution of rainfall, which many attribute to climatic change. The lack of reliable and safe drinking water supplies has in turn, hindered the Palau Government’s plans to develop the island further.

Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS), Tuiloma Neroni Slade recently stated that “Smaller Island States (SIS) in the Pacific region including Palau are more vulnerable to adverse effects of climate change due to their sea-based location, isolation and relatively small sizes.”

“I would like to thank the Japanese Government for the PEC Fund which has assisted the region in its pursuit for direct access to renewable energy and safe drinking water supplies through PEC Fund projects such as this,” Mr Slade said.

The project which will be implemented on Peleliu, includes the installation of a solar powered Reverse Osmosis (RO) plant that desalinates the saline groundwater using solar energy and produce 150L of fresh water for each resident on the island per day.

Furthermore, the solar power generation system will produce about 98,820kWh of energy per year, contributing 0.11% electricity towards Palau’s current power generation. This is estimated to save around 41tonnes of diesel per year for the islands and reduce carbon emissions by 28.5 tonnes per year.

Palau’s Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Industries and Commerce through the Energy Office will be the focal point for the project and will take ownership at the start of the project. The Bureau of Public Works will operate and maintain the solar RO system once the project is completed.

To date, the Governments of Samoa, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, Nauru, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Niue and Republic of Marshall Islands have successfully accessed the PEC Fund for national renewable energy and seawater desalination projects.

ENDS

For further information please contact the Forum Secretariat’s Communications Officer, Mue Bentley Fisher or call +679 9998677

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