Japanese expert makes a difference in water project

The Capacity Enhancement Project with Samoa Water Authority in Cooperation with Okinawa (CEPSO) has a new Chief Advisor.

He is JICA water expert, Motomu Takara, who is a water engineer by profession with a lot of experience in water supply projects.

Mr. Takara used to work in Japan at Okinawa Prefecture Enterprise Bureau which supplies drinking water to local municipalities of the island. Mr. Takara together with the CEPSO team paid a courtesy visit to the Ministry of Finance ACEO, Lita Lui.

It was an opportunity by the CEPSO team to also present on the progress of the project, the Alaoa Water Supply Scheme. With the population of 18,000, the scheme is the largest out of 10 Water Supply Schemes in Apia. It is one of the most important areas where major government offices and commercial facilities are concentrated.

“Water leakage was severe and it was estimated that 68% of the water supply volume was lost,” said Mr. Takara.

“The operation of the water purification plant was not running well and problems with low water quality and occasional water cutoff. The tariff collection rate remained low and was pressing the financial situation of SWA.”

CEPSO is a five year project funded under JICA Technical Cooperation Scheme.

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It was implemented in 2014 and will wrap up this year in August. 

Since the project implementation, a lot has improved such as the capacity for leak detection enhanced as well as capacity for pipeline works and leakage repair enhanced. 

The Non-Revenue Water (NRW) ratio of Alaoa Supply Scheme has reduced from 68% to 35%. 

Improvement in water distribution management with appropriate pressure control was also enhanced. 

“The achievement ratio of water pressure in Alaoa Supply Scheme exceeds 80% of CEPSO Project target of 1.0 to 4.0 bar. Between October 13th and 17th, the Leak detection team conducted a 3rd 24 hour pressure logging exercise of all the 12 DMAs (District Management Areas). 

“The result was that compliance rate was 75.7%. Much improved from the first exercise score 23.8% which was carried out in November 2014.

“Water quality monitoring strengthened and water treatment performance of Alaoa water treatment plant was also improved. The achievement ratio of water quality standards for treated water produced at Alaoa Water Treatment Plant exceeds 95%. Compliance rate for Alaoa Water Supply Scheme endpoints as of January 2019 has a score of 100% above CEPSO target of 95%.” 

Ms. Lui emphasized on the safety need that “if the pipes are eroded and we’re drinking from it, it’s dangerous”. 

Thus, she acknowledged the great work by Mr. Takara “especially the CEPSO team that’s been working very hard with SWA to fix the water problems”

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