Palau and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) had signed on May 28 the grant agreement for the construction of the new landfill in Aimeliik that is worth around $12 million.

Minister of State Faustina Rehuher-Marugg, Public Infrastructure, Industries & Commerce Minister Charles Obichang, and JICA Resident Representative Nobuaki Miyata had signed the grant agreement following the successful meeting between the Palau national government, the Aimeliik State Government and JICA officials during the recently concluded Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM 8) in Japan.

The new landfill will soon stand in Ongerarekieu, Aimeliik and its initial administrative work is set to begin one month after the signing of the contract including consulting services, procurement of equipment, and the construction of the new national landfill.

Based on the signed agreement between the parties involved, the grant funding is available from May 28, 2018 until July 31, 2022.

The agreement also stated that the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Industry, and Commerce (MPIIC) shall be designated as the “Executing Agency” for the implementation of the project.

Palau and Japan had exchanged notes for the project on May 16 in Japan during the PALM.

The proposal for the new national landfill had been in the making for almost 20 years, stalled by opposition from some citizens of Aimeliik State and as well as the determination of the estimated cost for the new landfill.

The new landfill will make use of the Fukuoka Method, an economical yet environmental-friendly way of managing a landfill, which requires landfill design that allows the natural flow of oxygen into landfill layers to enhance decomposition process of organic waste that is naturally performed by aerobic microorganisms.

The Fukuoka method had been already adapted by Palau since 2005 during the implementation of the Project for Improvement of Solid Waste Management in the Republic of Palau which was done in partnership with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). (Rhealyn C. Pojas/Reporter)