MWSC’s water and sanitation has taken a major step forward thanks to a $1.8 million grant from the US Interior Department’s Office of Insular Affairs.
International consulting company Beca has been appointed by Majuro Water and Sewer Company to prepare a 20-year strategic plan and a five-year development plan for water and sanitation improvements for Majuro. The development plan will be used to obtain funding for the projected $50 million of upgrades required to bring MWSC’s systems up to world standards.
The plans will cover all aspects of water supply and sanitation from Laura to Rita. “MWSC is excited about the prospect of providing a level of service to our customers at affordable charges,” said MWSC’s Acting General Manager Halston deBrum. “It will take five or six years but the result will be beneficial to all members of the Majuro community.”
Replacement of the ocean outfall that currently discharges raw sewage at the shoreline behind MWSC’s Delap offices is top priority, according to deBrum. He said “the outfall has been broken for 23 years due to poor construction. It has been a major health risk for too long.”
USDA has indicated it will fund 75 percent of the project cost provided MWSC undertakes the preliminary engineering and environmental studies required for formal assessment. “Beca will complete these studies by early November when we will make formal application to USDA,” said deBrum.
Beca’s project manager, Richard Clark, said “Beca has made a long term commitment to developments in the Marshall Islands and we want to make sure that the community is the winner from MWSC’s proposed developments.”
Beca will be visiting Majuro in late August or early September to conduct community workshops as the first step in understanding community expectations.
OIA’s grant is contingent on the funds being used to undertake the strategic plan and development plan studies as they recognized that developments could not proceed without clearly defined development plans.
“MWSC is most appreciative of OIA’s support to enable these vital studies to proceed,” deBrum said.
Read more about this in the August 12, 2016 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.