Pacific Partnership 2013 Engineers Rebuild Water Storage Units on Ennubirr Island
ENNUNIRR, Marshall Islands - Pacific Partnership 2013 engineers are renovating water cisterns on Ennubirr Island, an island in the Kwajalein Atoll of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, July 9.
After U.S. Army engineers and U.S. Navy Seabees complete the renovations, the cisterns will provide cleaner potable water to the people of Ennubirr.
"The Marshall Islands have a very small area of land with a lot of people ... that doesn't leave much room for the catchment of fresh water," said Royal New Zealand Navy Acting Capt. Anthony Millar, Pacific Partnership 2013 deputy mission commander. "The ability to catch, keep and maintain clean water is essential to the people of the Marshall Islands and one of our tasks for Pacific Partnership is to build the infrastructure to allow people to look after themselves."
U.S. Navy Steelworker 1st Class Tomas Preuc, one of the site leaders, said that cracks were found in the cistern's walls that were causing major leaking.
"A lot of the water was being wasted. So what we have to do is drain all of the water from the cistern, seal it up and put epoxy paint on it," said Preuc. "In a small area like this water is a big issue, so if we can keep a lot of the debris out of the water and keep it from leaking out it helps a lot. It's a good feeling working hand in hand with them knowing that we're making a difference."
Residents of the village were grateful to receive the aid from the Pacific Partnership engineers.
"It's good to see Pacific Partnership doing something good for the people of this island again," said Raymond Debrun, principal of the local primary school. "I'm glad to know that the world supports the people of the Marshall Islands."
Working at the invitation of each host nation, Pacific Partnership is joined by partner nations that include Australia, Canada, Colombia, France, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and New Zealand to improve maritime security and strengthen disaster-response preparedness around the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
Conducted annually since 2006, Pacific Partnership is the largest mission of its kind in the region. The mission was born after U.S. military responded to the needs of people in Southeast Asia following the devastating tsunami in 2004.
The Marshall Islands is one of many host nations for Pacific Partnership 2013. Others include Samoa, Tonga, Papua New Guinea, Kiribati, and the Solomon Islands.