Converting sea water into fresh water is now an innovative option for access to water for islands affected by droughts and pro-longed dry weather. On Tuesday, 28th April, 2020, the Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management received a donation of a mobile desalination plant that will assist maritime communities with water supply during periods of emergencies through the reverse osmosis of salt water into fresh water.
Leased freely by Sea Mercy Fiji for one year, the desalination plant with an accompanying power generator is worth $100,000 and will be able to convert 50,000 liters of water in one day for drinking and household use. Handing over the desalination machine today, Sea Mercy Fiji representative,
Neil Towner, said that they were happy to work with Government and to serve the people. “This project is taken up by the Ministry for the supply of fresh water for the islands when needed. It will produce high quality drinking water from sea water and the unit will serve the people well”, Mr. Towner said.
Receiving the desalination plant, Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management, Inia Seruiratu, reiterated that the Fijian Government will continually strive to fulfill the right of every Fijian to clean and safe water in adequate quantities. Minister Seruiratu said that “Over the last 3 years alone, the Ministry has spent $1.2 million through its Emergency Water supply program by carting water from Viti Levu and Vanua Levu to drought hotspots in the maritime islands.
This mobile desalination plant will substantially reduce the cost of carting fresh water to maritime island such as Yasawa, Lau, and Kadavu.” He further added that innovative investments such as this would ensure efficient use of government resources in meeting basic needs of every Fijian.
To meet an immediate need in Kadavu, government is deploying the desalination plant to Dravuni and Naqara. Following this, islands facing water supply problems will be assisted continually within the next 12 months.
The supply of the desalination plant to the Ministry is a success story of partnerships between the private and public sector for the common good.