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After years of suffering from a lack of fresh water, the island of Uripiv in Vanuatu celebrated last week as clean, safe drinking water flowed from their new Moerk Water desalination plant.

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Inadequate water supply has been a constant challenge for the people of Vanuatu, and the island of Uripiv is no exception. This additional water source is a happy addition to life for the 800 villagers, their school students and their health care centre, especially now during times of drought.

Their new plant means the people of Uripiv Island will no longer have to travel long distances for potable water and, as the island has no central electricity supply, the solar power supply gives them daily access to water on their own island.

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Uripiv people sampling their new supply of fresh water.

Peace Corps and V2Life were among the many organisations and volunteers who cooperated to provide this unit, a truly collaborative project.

Uripiv’s 800 villagers are now being provided with 2,300 - 3,000 litres per day of fresh water straight from the sea.

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Television Blong Vanuatu covered the installation in their News broadcast on 7th September, reporting on the local problems with water supply and referring to Moerk Water as a “renowned Australian company”.

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It was smiles all round from the island residents as they celebrated this welcome event.

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(from left) Moerk Water engineer, Daniel Wagler; Walika, boat mechanic; Nesto, electrician; Abel, Chairman of the Uripiv Health Committee; Edward, volunteer, V2Life; Andre, volunteer, Peace Corps; and Brad Jones, mission volunteer, with the islanders’ new desalination plant.

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Daniel Wagler enjoying the celebrations.

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Uripiv Island is a small, remote community in Vanuatu, off the coast of Malakula.

Moerk Water thanks the Uripiv community for their financial contribution to the project and for their wonderful hosting of the installation team.

The people of Uripiv Island gratefully acknowledge the assistance of funds provided by German, Australian and US donors, the US Peace Corps and the Vanuatu government.

Moerk Water thanks Roger Sutter from V2Life Vanuatu for making this project happen and thank him and his team for the excellent collaboration.