World Water Day: Recognising the importance of groundwater in Tuvalu
To mark World Water Day, Tuvalu held a national water awareness campaign from 21st – 22nd March, 2022 in Funafuti. The campaign, coordinated by the Climate Change Department in Funafuti, focused on the theme of this year’s World Water Day which is “Groundwater: Making the invisible visible”.
On Monday 21st March 2022, a radio campaign was rolled out for the entire day on the national broadcasting channel focusing on the importance of groundwater and water management as key messages. Radio is the main media outlet for the dissemination of information to the public in Tuvalu accessed by those living in Funafuti (the capital of Tuvalu) and the outer islands. A number of projects focusing on water namely the Global Climate Change Alliance Plus Scaling Up Pacific Adaptation Project (GCCA+SUPA), Managing Water Scarcity through Strengthened Water Resources Management Project, and the Managing Coastal Aquifers Project (MCAP), collaborated in the delivery of the radio awareness program.
An important message aired on the radio stated: “Groundwater is an important source of water supply besides rainwater catchment systems. Groundwater plays an important role in water security and climate change resilience through improved water supply and access”.,
On Tuesday 22nd March 2022, a presentation session took place at the Tomasi Puapua Convention Centre attended by representatives from local communities, religious groups and non-governmental bodies in Funafuti. The session was opened by Ms Pepetua Letasi, Director of Climate Change Department. In her address, Ms Letasi stressed the importance of groundwater in water security, particularly in the outer islands of Tuvalu. She went on to explain the efforts of the Government of Tuvalu in managing groundwater sources such as the Water Gallery Project on Vaitupu Island.
Members of the Water Steering Committee, comprised of representatives from climate change, water, environment, health, disaster management, meteorology and Red Cross, took part in the presentations and presented on the role of their departments or project in line with water access, management and hygiene. The session was attended by 70 participants made up of 32 male and 38 female.
The two-day event was funded by the GCCA+SUPA and the MCAP project.