U.S. To Loan Palau Reverse Osmosis Desalinization Unit

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Palau requested help providing water to typhoon devastated Kayangel

By Aurea Gerundio-Dizon

KOROR, Palau (Island Times, Jan. 3, 2014) – The United States Defense Department has provided Palau a reverse osmosis unit to be used in Kayangel State.

A dip note from the US Embassy-Koror dated December 23 disclosed that the reverse osmosis unit will be received this week by the Civic Action Team Army 06-01 under Officer-in-Charge Lt. James Lewis. The delivery of the unit to Kayangel and its operation will also be handled by CAT.

The assistance from the US was a result of the request by State Min. Billy Kuartei to US Embassy-Koror.

Kuartei wrote Charge d’ Affaires Thomas Daley earlier requesting the US Embassy’s assistance in providing/supplying water desalination system with a standalone generation to Kayangel State.

In Kuartei’s letter to Daley, he wrote that Kayangel State suffered massive damage from Super Typhoon Haiyan. With the massive deployment of persons to and from Kayangel for the rebuilding efforts, one vital component is to provide potable water for personal hygiene and cooking as well.

Kuartei disclosed that assessment by the Environmental Quality Protection Board on the quality of water available in Kayangel showed that the groundwater was inundated by the storm surges caused by the super typhoon.

EQPB assessment showed saltwater and other debris contaminate the water in Kayangel and therefore it is not fit at the moment for consumption and use as it contains 90 percent saltwater and 10 percent fresh water.

Further assessments of the water system storage tanks reportedly indicate presence of coliform and E.Coli. School rain catchments also indicate presence of the same bacteria.

Kuartei said that the water desalination system will provide adequate potable water supply for Kayangel State and it will contribute to the rebuilding efforts of the residents of the State by alleviating their reliance on external supplies of water and all the relocated residents to return back to their state.

According to Office of the President Deputy Press Secretary Kazuo Olkeriil, the reverse osmosis unit that was made available by US Defense Department to Palau will be used for Kayangel until such time it is not needed and then returned.

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