KOROR â€“ After more than a month of water shortage due to El NiÃ±o-induced drought, Palau residents have been enjoying 24-hour water supply since May 9.
Although the water is back full time in two of Palau’s most populous states, President Tommy Remengesau Jr. has not lifted the state of emergency because other states are still struggling.
â€œDirective 16-17 will remain effective until all states return to normalcy,â€ Remengesau told reporters.
According to a May 12 drought information statement of NOAAâ€™s Pacific Region headquarters, Palau and other countries in Micronesia have experienced â€œone of the strongest El NiÃ±o events in recorded history and while El Nino is weakening there is a prospect of La NiÃ±a.â€
In Micronesia, above-normal rainfall is a mark of La NiÃ±a, while shortage of rains is a manifestation of El NiÃ±o.
UAE sheikh inaugurates solar projects
United Arab Emiratesâ€™s Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nayhan visited Palau over the weekend to unveil renewable-energy projects funded by the UAE.
The three projects are:
â€¢ a 100 kW solar photovoltaics-diesel hybrid plant in In Peleliu State that allows up to 90% of power needs to be met by solar energy during peak time,â€¨â€¢ a 100 kW solar photovoltaics-diesel hybrid project in Angaur that powers a water-treatment facility capable of supplying 13,000 gallons of clean water water per day, and
â€¢ 100 1.7 kW solar-power systems for individual homes.
Instead of delivering the systems directly to end users, they will be provided to the National Development Bank of Palau, which in turn will offer loans to citizens to have the solar systems installed at their homes.
â€œAs a small island developing state, with a beautiful yet fragile ecosystem, Palau continues to be a leader in shaping the discourse and policies surrounding climate change,â€ Sheikh Abdullah said. â€œThe conservation ethic of the Palauan people, alongside the vision and stewardship of Palauan leaders is truly admired throughout the world.â€