Final evaluation on desalination project completed

A final evaluation on the Manus solar power saltwater desalination plant project has been completed.

The pilot project paves way for similar projects to be implemented for other atoll islands affected by the effects of climate change.

This results in the rise of sea level which is affecting the drinking water source of rural communities.

The project was launched on May 10, 2016, in Manus Province and installed on five island villages, namely Bipi, Mbuke and Whal, Nauna, Mal and Aawa islands.

Four desalination plants were installed on the islands of Mbuke and Whal, and six on Bipi Island.

One desalination plant produces 120L per hour and 720L of fresh drinking water per day from beach wells.

The evaluation team, which included two officers from Japan’s contracted company, Sojitz Corporation, were in Manus on Monday to do an inspection and evaluation report.

The evaluation was based on the function of the machines and whether they are providing support to the local community.

Mbuke councilor Selarn Kaluwin said the evaluation team was pleased with the progress so far and the machines are in good condition, benefiting about 800 people on Mbuke and Whal islands.

Kaluwin said the people are grateful for this innovation as it has helped them a lot in terms of obtaining fresh drinking water that they use also for cooking.

He highlighted that the machines will be very helpful during the El Nino period, which is expected to hit in August, as predicted by the PNG National Weather Service.

The project will be handed over to the provincial government once the evaluation report is completed.

The project was funded by the Japanese Government at a cost of US$66 million (K206m) through the Pacific Environment Community (PEC), a project arm of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS).

Out of the US$66 million, US$4 million (K12m) was allocated to PNG.

Picture courtesy of Selarn Kaluwin 

Quintina Naime