Provides two reverse osmosis units for Utrok Atoll and strengthens management of water and wastewater supply and utilities in Majuro
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Doug Domenech, U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs, this week announced $667,000 in fiscal year 2018 grant funding for the Republic of the Marshall Islands. This year’s funding will provide for two reverse osmosis units and the provision of fresh water for the people of Utrok Atoll, considered one of the driest atolls in the Marshall Islands, and strengthen the management of water and wastewater utilities on Majuro, the capital of the Republic of the Marshall Islands.
“Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and I are happy to support President Hilda Heine and the people of the Marshall Islands with these important water projects,” said Assistant Secretary Domenech.
Fiscal year 2018 grant awards to the Republic of the Marshall Islands follow:
– Majuro Water & Sewer Company (MWSC) – $116,000 to be used to develop a geographic information system (GIS) to integrate structural and topographical information on all utility assets, such as for a Geospatial Asset Location and Cataloging Project of assets such as water and sewer pipes, meter vaults, pumping stations, water reservoirs and sewage tanks for more efficient management. The MWSC provides water and sanitation to approximately 30,000 people on the island of Majuro. Funding includes consultant services, GIS licensing, and equipment. The timeline for the project is 18 months.
The MWSC will receive an additional $327,000 for an Airport Runway Cleanliness and Efficiency Program. The Amata Kabua International Airport runway on Majuro, 76 acres of paved surface, also serves as the largest and most critical rainwater catchment system for the population of Majuro. Funding would provide for equipment to clean the airport runway catchments and corresponding drains on a regular basis to reduce and remove all sediments flowing into the utility’s reservoirs. This equipment will be funded by the Maintenance Assistance Program.
– Utrok Atoll Local Government Reverse Osmosis Water Project – $224,099 for the acquisition of two new Reverse Osmosis (RO) units. A population of approximately 500 people living on Utrok Atoll currently rely on two RO units that produce approximately 3,000 gallons per day. The two new units will help prolong the life of current systems and reduce the wear and tear, extending the ability of current systems and continue to meet the needs of the people. Utrok is approximately 300 miles away from the capitol Majuro. Funding includes two new RO units, contractual labor, and a boat charter.
Funds are provided through the Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs Technical and Maintenance Assistance Programs. Applications are submitted from October through May 1st each year. Funds are awarded once OIA receives appropriations from the U.S. Congress until they are exhausted.
The Assistant Secretary, Insular and International Affairs, and the Office of Insular Affairs carry out the Secretary of the Interior’s responsibilities for the U.S. territories of Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Additionally, OIA administers and oversees Federal assistance under the Compacts of Free Association to the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau. OIA supports the Secretary’s mission of Fulfilling Trust and Insular Responsibilities through balancing efforts and limited resources towards stronger economic and health capacities, and fiscal accountability in the U.S. insular areas. (PR)