- News : CRGA approve SPC salaries increase [26/07/2017 - New Caledonia]
- News : Australian government stalls Solomon Islands undersea telco cable over Hauweii security issues [26/07/2017 - Solomon Islands]
- News : New climate research could prompt greater preparedness [26/07/2017 - Australia]
- Business News : FRCA rewards whistle-blower $250,000 [26/07/2017 - Fiji]
- News : PNG Parliament to convene next Friday [26/07/2017 - Papua New Guinea]
- News : No women MPs to sit in next PNG parliament [26/07/2017 - Papua New Guinea]
- News : Taiwan President calls for Tuvalu's ongoing support for UNFCCC bid [26/07/2017 - Taiwan]
- News : SPC to set up Pacific Oceans Science Centre [25/07/2017 - New Caledonia]
- News Feature : Pacific Community launches inaugural newsletter [25/07/2017 - New Caledonia]
- Business News : Cultural clash over medicinal kava [25/07/2017 - New Zealand]
- Business News : Tourism, a key economic driver for Least Developed Countries [25/07/2017 - Fiji]
- News : Attempt by SPC to raise staff salaries by two percent failed to reach consensus [25/07/2017 - New Caledonia]
- Sponsored : Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC)
Marshall Islands Holds First Ever National Summit on Water
Addressing the summit, RMI’s President, Jurelang Zedkaia, said most people were aware of the serious and immediate threats facing RMI and other low lying atolls and islands of the Pacific.
“Here in the RMI, water is not just a health issue, it is also an issue with major social, economic and security dimensions,” President Zedkaia said. “This summit is thus very important – both in terms of developing a framework for moving forward in this area but also in terms of developing the case and arguments for integrated water resource management as a key tool for addressing our national water needs.”
President Zedkaia called on those present to put forward strong arguments to convince “our policy makers, and to some extent our donors, as to why an investment in water resources is an investment in our people”. The President also pointed out that there needs to be more linkages between water and climate change adaptation.
RMI’s First Lady, Hannah Zedkaia, is also the National Water Champion and has been actively involved in the summit preparations and in will continue this role in future events.
The National Water Summit is part of RMI’s World Water Day Celebrations and will take place over two days under the theme “Dren nan Mour im Ejmour” (Clean Water for Healthy Life). The global theme is: Water for Cities: Responding to the Urban Water Challenge.
The low lying atolls of the Marshall Islands have very limited natural water storage capacity and much of its water comes from rainfall or fragile freshwater lenses. Increased migration to areas, like the atoll of Majuro and Ebeye Island, is putting increased strain on urban water resources and increasing threats to freshwater lenses.
Much of Majuro’s piped water comes from two main sources: reservoirs that collect rainwater off the atoll’s runway and from the fragile underground water supply known as the Laura Lens.
Currently most of the atoll’s residents receive only two days of piped water per week, and then only in the mornings and evenings. However frequent droughts and El Nino events often mean that this is further reduced to one day a week. A 2007 El Nino event resulted in the declaration of a National Emergency as water reserves fell to only 6 million gallons or 5 days of piped water.
Population growth, unsustainable management, contamination from household waste (including leaking septic tanks) and inappropriate land use practices threaten the long-term viability of the groundwater resource to provide potable water. Added to this are threats from increased climate variability and change.
The Summit participants included traditional leaders, community representatives, civil society, school children, and representatives from all levels of government.
Two other Micronesian countries, Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia are also holding National Water Summits this World Water Day.
It is anticipated that the National Water Summits will also provide important input at the regional and international level through a solid policy platform and investment plans for water. Summit outcomes are expected to inform the regional initiative to revise the Pacific Regional Action Plan on Sustainable Water Management.
The Micronesian summits were supported by the Secretariat of the Pacific Communities Applied Geoscience and Technology Division (SPC-SOPAC). SPC-SOPAC’s Water and Sanitation Programme provided funding and technical support through the European Union funded Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) Planning Programme and also through the Global Environment Facility funded Pacific IWRM Project.
Contact: Moriana Philips: Project Manager, GEF Laura Demonstration Project: mobile: (+692) 456 3124, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tiy Chung: SPC Water and Sanitation Programme Communications Advisor: mobile: (+692) 456 3124 email: email@example.com
Most read Climate change meeting taking a toll on SPC finance Fiji census in September will be paperless Countries agree to new treaty on marine biodiversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction Researchers map plastic patch bigger than Greenland floating in the South Pacific Default in SPC membership fee a concern: DG Tukuitonga PNG Highlands dominates seats yet to be declared PNG Highlands dominates seats yet to be declared Tension in Mt Hagen as declaration is made
Pacific Islands News Association
Who & What is PINA?
International News Safety Institute (INSI)
Media Helping Media