Japan funds desalination relief for South Pacific islands

The construction of a 30 m³/d desalination plant has relieved freshwater problems for around 200 inhabitants of Vanuavatu, one of the islands in the southern Lau Group in the South Pacific.

Fiji’s minister for works, transport and public utilities, Colonel Timoci Natuva, while officially commissioning the plant on 29 November 2013, said that it had been made possible through a total of US$ 2.5 millon assistance from the government of Japan to the four most water-short islands in Fiji namely Viwa, Kavewa, Kia and Vanuavatu.

This follows the commissioning in October 2013 of a seawater desalination plant on another Pacific island, Funafuti in Tuvalu, benefitting 7,000 residents. The desalination plant and grid-connected solar-power generation system was paid for through the Japanese Pacific Environment Fund.