On December 10, 2021, His Excellency KARASAWA Akira, Ambassador of Japan handed over 27 hand-wash stations to Ministry of Education. The handover ceremony for “The Project for Facilitating Hand-Wash Station to Schools in Babeldaob and Outlying States” was held at Melekeok Elementary School and attended by the Honorable Dale Jenkins, Minister of Education, the MOE Management Team, Principals of schools, Students of Melekeok Elementary School and Head Start Center, and many guests.

The medical facilities in Babeldaob and Outlying States are limited and it is not easy for people to access the National Hospital. Therefore, the prevention of contagious diseases such as COVID-19 is critical in these communities. Many parents, teachers and community people are worried about their children/students at schools since the schools are one of the place where many people gather and would be a place for cluster cases start. Although more than 90% of population have been vaccinated in Palau according to the MHHS’s report, it still needs to continue preventive measures against the virus.

Considering this situation, the Embassy of Japan decided to install 27 hand-wash stations at 14 schools including the private schools in Babeldaob and Outlying States under the Japan’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP). The project’s cost was $135,580.00.

This is the phase 2 of the hand-wash stations project. Combined with the phase 1 of the project in Koror and Airai, 89 hand-wash stations has been installed at 28 schools in total. Almost all schools from day care to high school now have hand-wash stations where students can keep their hands clean and prevent contagious diseases. The hand-wash stations are located in various places in each school so that students can easily access and keep their hands clean whenever they need to.

At the ceremony, Minister Jenkins expressed his appreciation to the Government of Japan and also all people who are involved in making this project possible. He also encouraged students and teachers to keep the hand-wash stations clean and neat to show their gratitude. Ambassador Karasawa expressed his hope that this project will provide a safe environment in schools to protect children, their families and all people in Palau.”

The Government of Japan launched GGP in 1999, for the purpose of responding to various development needs engaged in grassroots activities in Palau. As of December 10, 2021, the Embassy has signed 88 grant contracts with schools and hospitals as well as state governments and non-profit organizations to contribute to sustainable development of Palau. For further information about GGP, please contact 488-6455 or visit the Embassy of Japan website at https://www.palau.emb-japan.go.jp/itpr_en/about_ggp.html .

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