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Sun power provides drinking water

29 August 2012

Solar panels have solved water shortages on the island of Manono in Samoa, thanks to a Wini-Pacific project, funded by Lions Club, that pioneers the technique in the Pacific region. Forty panels were installed to power desalination plants, turning seawater into clean drinking water.

The 800-plus island residents previously relied on rainwater for consumption, and when tanks ran out, they had to cross the sea to the main island of Upolu for drinking supplies – a 20-minute boat trip.

Lions Club of Samoa chairman Leao Akeripa said 10 panels were installed in each of the four villages on the island, at a total cost of  $109,000. On a good sunny day up to 20 litres of desalinated water can be generated in around 24 hours. The brine residue can be further refined into salt for cooking.

Samples of the drinking water have received a tick of approval from the Scientific Reseach Organisation of Samoa.

Leao said the solar project was a first for the Pacific region, and was also environmentally friendly.

Matais of Lepuia’i village, where the project was launched, praised the project.

“To us, whether it’s one or two cans a day does not matter as long as we know we won’t have to travel across for water as often as we did in the past,” said Tulasi Fa’afuata. “This is timely and good for us especially since water is now scarce because of the long dry spell.”

Wini-Pacific was chosen to manage the project because of its expertise in ensuring the projects it undertakes are completed to the highest standard, on budget and on time.

If you have any enquiries regarding this type of project please contact us as we have the technicians available to implement these systems across the pacific.

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