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Water security interventions in RMI commences

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Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands – The UN Development Programme is supporting the Government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) through the RMI Water Security (ACWA) Project to implement water security interventions that will significantly build resilience from disaster and climate-induced drought impacts on water resources.

The ACWA project will enhance the ability of Marshallese to adapt to increase climate risks, particularly extreme drought events and stormwater inundation by improving household and community rainwater harvesting (RWH) and storage structures, securing groundwater resources from contamination; and strengthening technical capacities of national and sub national institutions and key stakeholders.

Levan Bouadze, Resident Representative for UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji said, “this project becomes ever more important in this new era with COVID-19 with its profound impacts, affecting the wellbeing and livelihood of our people in all aspects be social, economic and environmental. Sustainable water resource management and development is fundamental to ensure preventable measure for proper hygiene and drinking purposes”

On 16 August, the RMI ACWA Team led by Tuvuki Ketedromo and personnel from the Environmental Protection Authority (RMI EPA) office together with the Technical Design Survey (TDS) team commenced assessment on the 24 outer atolls and islands to assess in detail the rainwater harvesting systems and freshwater wells, to validate existing data and determine suitable designs of RWH systems.

The team completed assessment on Santo, Mejatto and Ebadon villages on Kwajdlien atoll on 26 August and will proceed to the remaining sites to be completed by December 2022.

In partnership with the University of the South Pacific (USP), the project conducted a weeklong training for women and youth from the 24 outer islands, on Climate Change Adaptation, Disaster Risk Reduction and Water Safety Management.

RMI EPA Manager, Moriana Phillips emphasized that building the capacity of women and youth on climate change and disaster risk issues related to water will enhance advocacy, and increase awareness of community members.

The training focused on building the knowledge and understanding of climate change and disaster and their impacts on RMI natural resources, in particular the water sector.

Furthermore, through the support of the RMI Gender Office, the participants will also be trained on gender equality and gender mainstreaming to help improve understanding of gender, and importantly help participants understand the paramount contribution of women and youth in community level leadership.

It is envisaged that the participants will be actively engaged in the project effort to build local capacity to effectively manage water resources at the community level.

The week-long training took place in the capital Majuro.

For more information, please contact:

Koji Kumamaru, Project Manager, ACWA Project, UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji, Level 7, Kadavu House, 414 Victoria Parade, Suva, Fiji, Email: koji.kumamaru@undp.org, Tel: +679 3312500