The tanks were donated by the Japanese government through its grant assistance for grass-roots human security project.
Ui Ariki president Tou Ariki, who hails from Mitiaro, said in the past the island had tried to access water from the undergrounds water caves
Have these water tanks makes a great difference to the people of Mitiaro, he said at the handing over ceremony of the tanks from Embassy of Japan yesterday.
The project was made possible, thanks to the $115,500 received through the Japanese grant assistance. The island officials secured the grant last year from Katsuhide Ariyoshi, the Minister/Deputy Head of Mission for Embassy of Japan to the Cook Islands.
Tou Ariki told Ariyoshi, “the people are happy with the generosity from Japan and we acknowledge your generosity,”
Ariyoshi said: “Water is an essential thing, we cannot live without water so its priority is quite high; and they are sincere people, and climate change is affecting them.”
“In such a situation we consider it is a good project for all the people and is beneficial to them.”
Mitiaro mayor Tuaine Ngametua said the 10 concrete water tanks are built throughout the community.
‘Before we would limit the water for people during the dry periods, now this project has made this much easier and comfortable for us,” said Ngametua.
Coordinated by Man Unuia, the project was signed in February last year. The tanks and other materials were delivered to the island in May and the construction finished in October.
“The people appreciate the tanks and the mobile water tank purchased for the transfer of water to remote areas as well as the for fire emergencies,” Unuia said.
“These will help mitigate against climate change and it has increased the storage volume on the island at the moment, but there is still room to put in more tanks on the roofs of houses.”