15 July, 2013
Families on the remote Pacific island of Tokelau continued to have enough fresh water in the past year after a prolonged period of drought in the region, thanks to AusAID support.
The Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change Project Plus (PACC+) program focuses on enhancing the ability of people to deal with the negative impacts of climate change such as continued droughts.
PACC+ works to improve water access and quality through community-based actions in Tokelau—a coral atoll that has taken the lead in renewable energy with their 100 per cent solar energy supply. PACC+ helped households improve their collection and storage of rainwater, giving them a reliable source of water during the drier months. As well as installing rainwater tanks, the project fitted ‘flush diverters’ to ensure the rainwater is flushed of bacteria and sediment before it flows into the tanks.
‘We were amazed that our water supply lasted the whole holiday and still the water tank was more than half full,’ said Tokelauan resident, Mikaele Mavaega Maiava.
‘I am so thankful for the PACC+ project because without this project we would have continued to face this stressful problem during our [festive season].’
PACC+ represents a successful partnership between the Australian Government, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), United Nations Development Programme, Pacific Regional Environment Programme and designated government authorities in each country.
Australia and GEF provided US$500,000 joint funding towards PACC+ in Tokelau for 2011–2014. PACC+ is also helping to mainstream climate change in Tokelau national policy and build the capacity of the Tokelau Government through training in climate vulnerability assessments and adaptation planning.