Grant Award Signing Ceremony by Secretary Perman and ADB Program Officer Blaik
Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Finance and Administration): September 23, 2008 - During the signing of the Grant Award Ceremony, Secretary Perman acknowledged the presence of Ambassador Sato, Mr. Stephen Blaik and representatives of the various departments to witness the event. In his remarks, he said, "this ceremony is the first our department have held with Japan and Asian Development Bank, but certainly not the first indication of Japan and ADB's effort to support us." The $980,000 Grant is financed by the Government of Japan through the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction to assist the people in Chuuk for the Weno Water Supply Well Remediation Project and to further improve the implementation of the Water Supply and Sanitation Project which commenced years ago in 1996 and closed in 2004.
The event highlighted the importance of joint cooperation between ADB, as well as the two governments. Secretary Perman further stated, "we are grateful and appreciative of Japan's gesture and favorable consideration accorded to the project and we hope that the same will be accorded to future projects to meet the development aspiration of the FSM. I believe that keeping our joint cooperation and partnership focused on the mutual development vision and mutual goals are important to moving us forward in developing our country. I appreciate and look forward to continued cooperation and stronger partnership among FSM, Japan and the Asian Development Bank."
Mr. Blaik joined Secretary Perman and expressed on behalf of ADB his appreciation and thanked Ambassador Sato, and representatives of the other departments for joining to witness the event and for inviting him to say a few words about the project.
In Mr. Blaik's remarks, he explained that the Weno Water Supply Remediation Project was evolved from the ashes of the Water Sanitation Project which was implemented from 2000 to 2002. The Water and Sanitation Project was intended to increase the water available from the Weno Water Supply by 800,000 gallons of water per day. To meet the goal, 16 water supply wells were constructed and the Po Water Treatment Plant was refurbished. Out of the 16 wells that were constructed, only 2 remained in service and yield less than 80,000 gallons per day. Currently, the Weno Water Supply is able to provide about one half of the average daily demand.
The Weno Water Supply Well Remediation Project will help address the limited access to safe water and will contribute to improved living and health standards in Chuuk State. The Project will assist the FSM in meeting Target 10 of the Millennium Development Goals to halve the number of people without access to safe drinking water and sanitation by 2015.
According to ADB News Release, the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction is extending the $980,000 grant for the project, to be managed by FSM Department of Transportation, Communication and Infrastructure (TC&I). The project will support water demand forcasts for Weno Island up to 2020, identification of potential water sources to meet long-term demand, and a tariff study and survey to gauge the willingness of residents to pay for efficient water service. It will also increase the supply of water from groundwater sources, improve water quality through chlorination, reducing the incidence of waterborne diseases; train personnel in maintaining water supply wells; and boost community awareness of the need to conserve water and protect watersheds.
Project activities will include:
The Project is expected to be completed by the end of 2011 and will compliment other ongoing and proposed infrastructure projects on Weno including the Weno power station being constructed under the Omnibus Project and the Hospital Water Supply Project.
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