“A number of schools and communities in three provinces are going to have access to safe and fresh water, thanks to the realization of the desalination project.
A number of schools and The most affected communities have been identified as small and flat and they include Norsup, Urpiv, Uri,
Rano, Wala, Atchin and Vao on Malekula, Tutuba and Mafea Islands in East Santo, and Emae, Tongariki and Buninga, Makira and Mataso in the Shepherds Islands.
According to the project’s operator, the Department of Geology, Mines and Rural Water Supplies, these communities meet the requirements and were to be supplied by four mobile units transported by boat from an island to another.
This desalination project is an answer to a request expressed by the Prime Minister’s office concerned about water shortage in rainwater dependent islands.
Funded through the Agreement of Regional Cooperation 2015 between France, New-Caledonia and Vanuatu, the project aims at providing water to schools and communities using water mobile desalination units during droughts periods such as El Nino few months ago. The desalination units will be under the responsibility of operators of Rural Water Supplies’ Services and Public Works in provinces announced which will ensure storage, maintenance and service of the units by boat.
A training on good use and maintenance of these machines will be provided to the operators in PortVila today. After this training, the French Embassy will hand over the responsibility of the project to the Department of Geology, Mines and Rural Water Supplies to ensure a good coordination with all partners involved in this project: Department of Public Works, Energy Department, Department of Local Authorities, Ministry of Education and Training, National Disaster Management Office, provincial authorities and communities.
This will also enable the Water Supplies Department to collect data on quantity and quality of water distributed in schools and communities.”