President Surangel S. Whipps, Jr., center, pauses for a photo with Japan Ambassador to Palau Akira Karasawa and UNDP Project Manager Yoko Ebisawa. They joined Governors and other representatives from state governments for the handover ceremony of the new AM Antennae on Friday. Photo courtesy Office of the President of Palau.

“The rebuilding of this A.M. antennae tower serves an important purpose for the people of Palau. We thank our friends and partners of the People of Japan and the United Nations.  In our various state visits, a rechad er Belau voiced concerns about staying informed of health and safety news. This is particularly important when our nation is facing typhoons or other natural disasters, which have been getting stronger and more frequent because of climate change. This project allows our emergency officials to share information to help all the people in Palau ensure their families, homes and businesses are safe.”

– President Surangel S. Whipps, Jr.

KOROR, Palau – President Surangel S. Whipps, Jr., Japan Ambassador to Palau Akira Karasawa and United Nations Development Programme Project Manager Yoko Ebisawa joined outlying state governors – Kayangel, Angaur, Hatohobei and Sonsorol – and partner agency officials at a handover ceremony marking the completion of the new AM Broadcasting System. Signals from this newly erected tower can reach the most northern and southern Palauan communities, as well as mariners within Palau’s EEZ.

Typhoon Bopha destroyed the previous antennae when it rolled through the islands of Palau in 2012. “Today, we restore a vital communication tool for emergency and disasters,” President Surangel S. Whipps, Jr. said.

The United Nations Development Program facilitated the project – called the “Enhancing Disaster and Climate Resilience in the Republic of Palau through improved Disaster Preparedness and Infrastructure program”.

The government of Japan provided funding to help replace the tower. The construction cost was $755,920. It is one of 19 projects in Palau financed through a $7.5 million climate resilience program.

The reconstruction of the AM broadcasting system involved many partners, including: the Bureau of Public Works, the National Emergency Management Office, PPUC, Koror State government, and Vice President and Minister of Justice J. Uduch Sengebau Senior.

“Because of your coordinated efforts, all residents of Palau … will receive reports and information necessary for their safety and security,” the President later noted in thanks to all involved. “Your work lays a strong foundation of a system that could save lives – you used your God-given abilities and skills to put the lives of a rechad er Belau el kot. Kom kmal mesaul el rokui.” (press release)

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