The project funding of $115,500 is for the construction of 10 concrete 20,000-litre water tanks in eight sites and for the purchase of a mobile water tanker for the transfer of water to remote areas. It would also serve for fire emergencies on Mitiaro island.
The water-tank sites include schools, church halls, the hospital and community buildings.
Tou Ariki said: “Thank you for your generosity, for supporting for the people of Mitiaro especially with water. We need water on the island, even in Rarotonga and in the four corners of the world. We really appreciate the contribution.”
He said this was the second project funded by the Japanese government and hoped that when the project is completed the Deputy Head of Mission of the Japanese embassy, Katsuhide Ariyoshi, would be attending the official opening of the project.
Mayor of Mitiaro Tuaine Ngametua also acknowledged the support from the Japanese government and said that they would make use of the funds for the island community.
Ariyoshi said it was important for such projects to be established.
He said the project would improve the water storage capacity in the Mitiaro community and assist in enhancing community resilience during periods of low rainfall and, by doing so, mitigate the impact of climate change on the island community.
Ariyoshi said this would be the 22nd project under the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Project (GAP) for the Embassy of Japan to the Cook Islands.
Mitiaro has about 189 people according to the Outer Islands Water Supply report by the Outer Islands Division of the Prime Minister’s Office.
The successful completion of the water project is one of the ways the island community hopes to mitigate the adverse impact of climate change.