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APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, Sept. 17) - Chairman of the Pacific Water Association (PWA) Patrick Amini yesterday announced the relocation of their offices from Suva, Fiji, to Apia.

Mr. Amini also announced the appointment of Managing Director of KEW Consultants Limited Latu S. Kupa to the position of Interim Executive Director of PWA

"This appointment means the office PWA which has been located in Suva Fiji since its establishment in the 90’s will now be relocated to Apia Samoa under the care and management of Mr. Kupa," said Amini.

"I am confident under his leadership the association will progress and achieve its objectives and provide the services that is required by its memberships throughout the region," he said.

PWA, said Amini, is made up of water utilities in the Pacific region - and private sector membership like consultants, contractors, suppliers and other service providers.

KEW Consultants Limited where Latu is the managing director is a member of PWA said Amini.

He said the relocation was basically caused by their having appointed an officer to look after the affairs of PWA in Suva "however it was unfortunate that the appointment did not become effective."

Amini said that since then they have been looking for someone to take care of PWA business for the past 12 months.

"And Kupa has made himself available," he said. "I feel confident with his involvement and experience with his contacts in the region that he will be able to re-establish the role of PWA in the region."

Latu said he was honored and privileged to have been appointed to his new position and thanked God for the opportunity.

Latu said that PWA is not only about utilities; they were looking at expanding the memberships to individuals.

As a result he said this is will be a challenge "getting people to realize the importance of water in our lives."

He said having PWA move to Samoa was a "big bonus and plus."

Latu said he was thankful to the association for having the trust in him and Samoa in relocating the PWA here.

He said another reason for the executives wanting to move PWA’s office to Samoa is "because this is a very safe place."

He said the board is focusing on bench marking and efficiency of services.

This he said will allow a comparison of performance from one utility to the other.

Moving PWA’s office to Samoa is also about the opportunity to share ideas and expertise.

He said if there was a problem that was needed to be looked at in Samoa another experienced engineer from PNG or other members can come to Samoa to fix it instead of bringing in an expatriate from outside the Pacific.

"We would like to promote the high expertise that exists in the Pacific region.

Latu is a former Deputy Director for the Ministry of Works and General Manager of Samoa Water Authority.

Pacific Water Association was formed in Fiji in 1990 and has members from twenty-one countries around the Pacific.

These countries are; American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, New Caledonia, Samoa, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Wallis and Futuna.

PWA’s objectives are to improve and enhance the water industry within its member countries by:

PWA also aims to develop and gain support among members for standards for the industry’s performance, and to monitor the comparative performance of Member Countries water and sanitation utilities against international benchmarks

PWA will be housed at the KEW Consult office on the top floor of the Coxon Building at Saleufi.

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