Strengthening local capacity for the installation and maintenance of rainwater harvesting systems in Chuuk State, FSM

More than fifteen community members participated in a three-day upskilling training to install and maintain rainwater harvesting tanks in Weno, an island municipality of Chuuk State in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM).

The hands-on training, which began on Tuesday, 22nd  November 2022, is part of the ongoing efforts of the European Union funded Global Climate Change Alliance Plus Scaling Up Pacific Adaptation project (GCCA+ SUPA). Implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC), these efforts are geared to bolster local capacity that will help scale up community resilience to water stress and climate-related extreme events in Chuuk State.

Logan Memorial Church, one of the largest churches on the island of Weno, was selected as the site for the training. Elevated three metres above sea level, the structurally sound church also serves as an evacuation centre during natural disasters.

The selection of this site was conducted through consultations with the communities in Weno. This selection process reflects the approach by the project which places local people at the centre of development.

In facilitating the training, GCCA+ SUPA project engineer Fakasao Tofinga guided the participants with the construction of a concrete base that measured 4.8m by 2.3m. Two 1500-gallon rainwater harvesting tanks were placed on top of the concrete base. Proper spouting and downpipes, that would help make tank water as clean as possible were installed.

Several components that are designed to work with the installed spouting and downpipes were also installed. This included a screened leaf eater to direct leaf litter and larger debris items out of the flow of the water.

The next component, called the first flush diverter, was installed to divert away the first most contaminated rainwater from entering the tank. Appropriate screens were placed on the rainheads and tanks to prevent insects and vermin entering the tank.

Adore William, one of the participants of the training, said that the informative training helped the participants understand the importance of each component of the installation process.

“The thing that I liked most about the training was that it was a very hands-on training, so we got to understand what to do.”

He added that the installation of the two 1500-gallon tanks and the training to install and maintain them will be beneficial to the surrounding communities especially with the increasing struggles the communities are facing due to the unstable weather patterns.

Project engineer Fakasao Tofinga highlighted that the installation of water harvesting systems at the Logan Memorial Church and the training executed with local community members will ensure the equal access and distribution of potable water to all members of the communities.

“The trained participants are now in a better position to install proper rainwater harvesting systems to better help the communities they live in”.