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The initiative funded by the EU-funded Adapting to Climate Change and Sustainable Energy (ACSE) implemented by GIZ in partnership with the Government of RMI will help improve the lives of 1,236 students and staff as well as the adjacent communities of Northern Islands High School at Wotje Atoll, Kwajalein Atoll High School and Jaluit Atoll High School.
The EUR 35.5 million ACSE regional programme is funded by the EU and implemented by various partners. GIZ is administering EUR 18.64m of this through ACSE’s component one in fifteen Pacific, African, Caribbean and Pacific states (PACPs).
This project is a very timely one for the people of RMI as droughts continue to ravage the country as a result of El Niño and climate change. In 2016, the Government of RMI declared a state of emergency as 15,781 people residing in the RMI atolls, excluding Majuro and the 9,614 residing in Ebeye were directly affected.
RMI Minister of Finance, Hon. Brenson S. Wase said the signing of the financing agreement was an effort to help the RMI fight against drought impacts, and the project will contribute to collect and store sufficient rainwater through installing new storage system and rehabilitate current facilities in order to provide a reliable, consistent source of safe drinking water.
The EU Ambassador to the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Pacific, H.E Andrew Jacobs who is on an official visit to RMI, said: ''Pacific countries and other Small Island Development States (SIDS) are on the front line in the battle against climate change and the EU stands shoulder to shoulder with its Pacific partners and is committed to help Pacific countries adapt to the adverse effects of climate change. The EU and its member states are very proud to be part of the project which ensures that school children, staff and neighbouring communities will have access to clean and safe drinking water,''
Ambassador Jacobs added this programme is also relevant for Agenda 2030. It contributes primarily to the progressive achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 6, ensuring availability of clean water and sanitation, but also promotes progress towards SDG 13, taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
Programme Director, Dr. Wulf Killmann, said: “Water is a basic need and it is one of the most pressing development challenges in the face of climate change. GIZ is working with communities across the Pacific and the world to provide regulated access to sufficient safe water supply.”
The implementation phase of the project will include the process of improving rainwater catchment efficiency by maximizing roof catchments with downpipes connected to new rainwater storage tanks, and increasing rainwater storage by installing new water tanks and rehabilitating existing tanks. First Flush Diverters will also be installed for water storage tanks to reduce silt and other contaminants in an effort to enhance water quality.
The Office of Chief Secretary will be the lead national agency, and the National Disaster Management Office will serve as the national implementing agency. Project partners include the Division of International Development Assistance from the Ministry of Finance, the Public School System and the Project Management Unit from the Ministry of Public Works.
Adapting to Climate Change and Sustainable Energy (ACSE) funded under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF 10)is a programme, designed in partnership with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, is being implemented in its different components by GIZ, SPC, USP and also partially in partnership with the ADB and NZ (under the EU-NZ energy access partnership). The objectives of the ACSE programme are to: enhance sustainable livelihoods in PACPs; strengthen PACPs capacities to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change; and enhance PACPs energy security at the national, provincial and local/community levels.