COOK ISLANDS, Manihiki Atoll - January 2009
Purchase of two UV water purification units and pump system including spare parts in exchange for the creation of a 72-acre marine reserve for a duration of 30 years
Manihiki is a small atoll in the Northern Cook Islands, approximately 550 miles north of the capital Rarotonga. The extremely low-lying atoll has a population of 400 persons living on the two inhabited islands. As is common with small isolated communities, water is a major concern on Manihiki, where the only source of potable water is rainwater stored in tanks. Due to prolonged periods of storage, this water can become contaminated and poses a health risk. The people of Manihiki would like assistance in the purchase of two ultraviolet water purifying units and pump systems - one for each village - with spare parts. In exchange for this funding, Manihiki will declare 72 acres of their lagoon as a marine reserve for a duration of 30 years.
UPDATE June 2009 - As of February 2009 field representative Allan Tuara began working on setting up community meetings to complete pre-grant documentation and planning phases for the project. Seacology is currently waiting for notification from Mr. Tuara that the project is ready to begin and plans have been solidified.
UPDATE November 2009 - Purchase of the units will occur in August and installation should occur in September of 2009. The project is expected to take 3 months to complete. As of September 2009, due to the 2009 Pacific Games taking place in Rarotonga, the project start date was delayed. It is believed that construction will begin in October when the Manihiki mayor returns from the Games. As of November 2009 the water purification and pump systems have been installed and the project is complete.
UPDATE June 2010 - As of June 2010 field representative Allan Tuara reports that he has been informed by the project manager on Manihiki that both units are functioning and providing free clean drinking water to everyone. The community is very appreciative to Seacology for this gesture.