ICI to manage Aitutaki water

The water supply system in Aitutaki is experiencing significant issues, including frequent disruptions to access by the residents. On Monday this week, the Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Albert Nicholas and a delegation from Infrastructure Cook Islands (ICI), Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) and Ministry of Finance and Economic Management (MFEM) met with the Aitutaki Island Council, Ui Ariki and Members of Parliament to discuss a way forward to improving Aitutaki’s water management. 

As a result of the meeting, the Aitutaki island leaders agreed that ICI would implement a project with the purpose of creating an asset management plan for the water assets on Aitutaki by addressing network and supply issues, as well as provide a governance structure that will fully support the Aitutaki water services staff and resources. 

In the spirit of partnership with the Island, ICI supported by OPM and MFEM in the next three years, will standardize the current water galleries operations through equipment and system upgrades and replacements, rehabilitate existing reservoirs, investigate and implement long-term clean water source and supply, as well as improve the water mains network. 

In addressing the leaders of Aitutaki the Deputy Prime Minister stressed that by working together the central government and island government can only produce positive results for the people of Aitutaki. “If we all have our people at the heart of everything that we do, we will be able to overcome these issues affecting Aitutaki water”, said Deputy Prime Minister Nicholas. 

His Worship, Aitutaki Mayor, Tekura Bishop on behalf of the island leaders, thanked the Deputy Prime Minister and his delegation and expressed that they look forward to working with ICI and seeing early results from this partnership arrangement. 

ICI will be completing the detailed project documents this week and has commenced working with MFEM, OPM and CIIC, as well as Aitutaki Island Government, to progress the transition of Aitutaki water management, including the full transfer of staff and assets to ICI for the duration of the project.  ICI and MFEM have estimated an investment of approximately $4 million into Aitutaki water assets and management for the next three years.  END