To build resilience to future El-Nino related droughts, Palau has identified activities that will be funded under the European Union and the Pacific Community Readiness for El Nino (RENI) Project.
On March 8, the committee tasked to look into the activities ahead of the drought, identified design activities focused on water security, which are deemed urgently needed by the community.
Palau, Federated States of Micronesia, and Republic of the Marshall Islands were impacted by the 2015-2016 El Nino event, causing hardship for the country.
Many residents in Palau faced water shortage during the El Nino event.
Headed by Vice President Raynold Oilouch, the committee said purchase of water tanker trucks, Ngerderar and Tabecheding water filters and tanks are activities that will enhance drought readiness.
Ngerderar is a water source in Aimeliik while Tabecheding is one of the largest river in Babeldaob
In early 2017, the European Union announced that it will mobilize €4.5 million (NZ$7 million) from the European Development Fund (EDF) global reserve for the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Palau to build resilience for future El Niño events.
Palau has access to at least $1.2 million in grants under the project.
The Palau activities were identified after series of consultations with the Secretariat Pacific Community (SPC).
Oilouch said the three identified activities will concentrated in the most populous area of the country- Koror and Airai.
The El Nino -induced drought in 2016 made life hard for most residents in Palau, as water supply were reduced to three hours a day, with some areas not getting water at all, after rivers and dam were depleted.
The government was forced to declare a state of emergency and asked for foreign help to address the water shortage.
Drought has also hammered Palau’s famous Jellyfish Lake, with jellyfish numbers plummeting from millions to decimating the jellyfish population. (Bernadette H. Carreon) [/restrict]