AIWO, 21 OCTOBER 2019 (ADB) — With support from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), work has begun to transform the Aiwo Boat Harbour area, which will help make it Nauru’s first international and cargo terminal, improving the country’s maritime trade and connectivity.

Nauru President, Lionel Aingimea today witnessed the upgrade work as engineers installed large reinforced concrete piles into the atoll’s bedrock. Over 500 of these concrete piles will form the basis of the port’s main structure.

“We are now realizing our dream of having an international port, and strong development partnership during implementation will be the key to the success of this project,” said  Aingimea.

“The efficient, reliable, and climate-resilient port that will be built, will be a lifeline to the people of Nauru,” said the Regional Director of ADB’s Pacific Liaison and Coordination office in Sydney Lotte Schou-Zibell.

“The construction of this climate-resilient infrastructure greatly enhances the ability of the world’s smallest island country to withstand the climate effects of rising sea levels and increasingly intense weather events such as storms and cyclones,” said the Director of GCF’s Mitigation and Adaptation Division,Jerry Velasquez. ”The port will also support low-carbon maritime transport connections to the Pacific region and the rest of the world.”

“The Australian government welcomes this progress in development of the new sea port which will provide safe and efficient maritime operations to Nauru and be central to meeting the needs of the community for provision of critical fuel, food and medical supplies,” said Australia’s High Commissioner to Nauru  Angela Tierney.

Financed by ADB, GCF, and the governments of Australia and Nauru, the Nauru Sustainable and Climate Resilient Connectivity Project will increase the Pacific island nation’s trade opportunities and promote economic recovery.

Nauru is among the most vulnerable countries, globally, to natural disasters and the effects of climate change. The new port will be climate-proofed to allow large vessels to berth with the construction of a wharf featuring a berth pocket and breakwater. Port security will be established to ensure compliance with international best practices, while a container storage area will be built. The project will support the Port Authority of Nauru to introduce institutional reforms.

With a population of about 13,000 people, Nauru is highly dependent on maritime transport for its habitability. Nauru will greatly benefit from the upgraded port infrastructure, allowing for more cost-effective and timely delivery of essential supplies and may provide for alternative sources of domestic revenue. (PACNEWS)