Secretary for Planning and Monitoring Hakaua Harry says this was a regional initiative project of which the government of Japan allocated US$66 million (K206m) for the Pacific Island countries during the PALMS 6 meeting in 2009 in Japan.
Out of the US$66 million, US$4 million was allocated to PNG (K12m).
The fund is managed by Pacific Environment Community (PEC) Fund through the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat in Fiji.
Hakaua says the purpose of the fund is to mitigate the effects of climate change, which is in fact a global issue.
The Japanese government’s regional assistance to all Pacific Island countries in addressing the issue of climate change has been pivotal.
The project is in line with the current WaSH Policy, Medium Term Development Plan 2016-17 and PNG Development Strategic Plan 2010- 2030.
She adds that Manus Province was chosen as the pilot province for this project because it is a maritime province with many atoll islands where water shortage during dry seasons has been a critical issue.
The Manus solar power saltwater desalination plants project, after completion, will continuously make safe and clean drinking water available for the atoll islands during wet and dry seasons.
The success of this project can be replicated to other maritime provinces who experience fresh water shortages.
She thanked the Planning and Monitoring staff (foreign aid division) for their tireless effort put into facilitating the drawdown of this project fund as well as the Japanese contractor – Sojitz.
The Department of Planning and Monitoring has total confidence in Sojitz that this project will be delivered within schedule and budget limit and will provide the necessary support it requires to ensure the ultimate goal of this project is achieved.
She also thanked the Japanese Government for their continued support in PNG’s development efforts and look forward for more continued support in the years to come.