World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Solar Powered Desalination Unit En Route to Tuvalu


18 October, 2011

A solar powered desalination unit is en route from Suva to provide desperately needed water to children and their families suffering in the current drought in Tuvalu. The unit, funded by UNICEF NZ (UN Children’s Fund) and the New Zealand government’s aid programme, will arrive on Sunday (23 October).

The unit will provide water for Nauti primary school and a health clinic in Funafuti. Without a water supply the school was under threat of closure meaning 600 pupils would have had to interrupt their education until an unspecified point in the future. All pre-schools on Funafuti are already closed.

An engineer will also travel from New Zealand to Tuvalu to set up and train local staff to operate and maintain the unit. Once up and running the solar powered unit will be able to provide 6000 litres of drinking water per day from sea water, with no fuel costs.

Hamish Lindsay, Programmes Manager at UNICEF NZ, said “The UN recommends that people should be able to access 100 litres of water each a day, but the drought in Tuvalu has limited this to as little as 25 litres a day. The NZ army has said that the water situation in the area is improving, but the reality is that there is still only 5–10% probability of heavier than light rainfall over the next eight days.

“It’s clear that this water crisis is far from over and therefore the arrival of this solar desalination unit is especially timely. It will provide much-needed water to those who are most vulnerable, whilst also allowing a significant number of children to continue to attend school.

“We applied to the NZ government for funding for this unit since we recognized how vulnerable the Pacific islands’ water supply can be in times of emergency. Water is critical for normal life and we hope that this unit can help to alleviate some of the current suffering for the people of Tuvalu.”

UNICEF is working very closely with the Government of Tuvalu, other UN agencies and NGOs to help those most affected and is also planning to ship in more humanitarian supplies to people affected by the drought.

The desalination unit was purchased this year from Auckland based company, Enertec. For more information on how the unit works go to: http://www.spectrawatermakers.com/landbased/products_ssw5800.php

# # # # # # #

About UNICEF UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.

The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.

UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

Every $1 donated to us is worth at least $10 in the field thanks to the way we work in partnership with governments, local NGOs and other partners - www.unicef.org.nz

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook

Because he wasn’t registered at birth, Joseph’s right to access education and health is jeopardised. Donate $11 to register a child now.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Climate Change: Record Northern Heat, Fuels Concerns Over US Wildfire Destruction

More than 78,000 acres of forest in the Sierra mountains in California has been lost due to wildfires. Photo: San Francisco Fire Department The northern hemisphere experienced its warmest August ever, the World Meteorological Organization ( WMO ... More>>

UN: Guterres Condemns Killing Of Journalists, Following Beheading Of Mexican Crime Reporter

© UNESCO | International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists. Following the gruesome death of a Mexican journalist specializing in crime reporting, who was found beheaded on Wednesday, UN chief António Guterres has issued a statement condemning ... More>>

UN: WHO Warns Against Potential Ebola Spread In DR Congo And Beyond

Ebola is spreading in a western province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), raising fears that the disease could reach neighbouring Republic of Congo and even the capital, Kinshasa, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday. ... More>>

WWF: Living Planet Report Reveals Average Two-Thirds Decline In Wildlife Populations Since 1970

According to WWF’s Living Planet Report 2020 released today, global populations* of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish have suffered an average two-thirds decline in less than half a century. The decline is due in large part to the very ... More>>