Ngiraremiang family with Vice President Raynold Oilouch (left, first row) during the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and Land Use right for the drought resiliency project in Ngatpang State. (Contributed Photo)

A family from Ngatpang State had agreed to allow the government to use a parcel of their land for 50 years for the construction of water storage system as part of the measures taken to prepare for drought.

Ngatpang State Speaker Siles Ngiraremiang, who represented the children of Ngiraremiang, had agreed to grant the government rights to use a portion of their land in Ngerdubech, Ngatpang State which will soon house the 30,000-gallon automatic valveless gravity filter water storage system that will be built near Tabecheding River alongside Compact Road.

The water storage system, once completed, will supply water to the nearby communities in Ngatpang State, Airai, and Koror during drought, hence, benefiting an estimate of 14,300 residents.

The project also includes the provision of a 2,113-gallon water tanker delivery truck which will be utilized in facilitating distribution of water in future droughts.

President Tommy Remengesau, Jr.lauded the Ngiraremiang family for their contribution, calling their example as a demonstration of “exceptional goodwill, commitment to duty and responsibility and citizen involvement in actions towards the benefit of the Palauan people.”

The construction of the project is funded by the European Union through a grant called Readiness for El Niño (RENI) Project.

Vice President RaynoldOilouch and Speaker Ngiraremiang had signed the land-use right agreement and Memorandum of Understanding on March 26 in the presence of other Ngiraremiang children namely Marcella Olewachel, Inez Ngiraremiang, Tangy Ngiraremiang, Florencio Ngiraremiang, and James Ngiraremiang.

Palau had previously declared a state of emergency during a 2015-2016 drought. Last year, the country had also imposed water rationing after the National Emergency Committee (NEC) declared the country under Water Shortage Alert 2.

The Palau National Weather Service Office previously noted that February, March, and April are normally dry season in Palau with only minimal rainfall. (Rhealyn C. Pojas)