News Release

Latter-day Saint Charities Helps Bring Potable Water to Isolated Families in French Polynesia 

Joint project with city replaces pipes and catchment system that will benefit over 300 residents of Puunui

A fifty-year-old water system was recently renovated thanks to a partnership between the humanitarian arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the small community of Taiarapu-Ouest, located about 35 kilometres from the capital of Pape’ete on the island of Tahiti.

The original system created a water catchment, called NAZA, at the bottom of a remote valley. Some of the pipes connecting it to the town were strung through trees and some were buried.

Eric and Annette Graff, volunteers with Latter-day Saint Charities, worked with the community on this project.

“During storms, the pipes would often get damaged, causing loss of water or contamination for the town’s only water supply,” Helene Fariki, city manager, said. 

A renovation was done in 2004 but many of the materials had to be brought to the site by hand because there was no road.

The new project allowed the municipality to to create a driving path to allow the municipality heavy equipment to be used. This allowed the complete renovation of the water network including two kilometres of new pipes and the conversion of the catchment into a more sophisticated draining gallery putting pipes deep in the bed of the river covered with gravel. The water goes to reservoirs before being distributed to the population. 

At the opening ceremony in March, city manager Helene Fariki, said, “Now, a hundred families benefit from this new water supply system. Everyone is very happy to have clean water naturally treated at their taps.”

Manea Tuahu is the director for Latter-day Saint Charities in French Polynesia. “We have done several water supply projects in other municipalities, and we are delighted that so many families here will at terms have potable drinking water,” he said. 

“The contribution of the Church is a way to say thank you to the city. We are grateful to participate in these kinds of projects to bless the lives of families. Thank you for the opportunity to serve our population.”

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