News Story

New Water System is a Blessing to Tahitian Town

Latter-day Saint Charities and the district of Mahaena are joining forces for a community water project

A new water system is coming to a small town on the island of Tahiti in French Polynesia thanks to a partnership between the community of Mahaena and Latter-day Saint Charities, the charitable organisation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The water system will replace one built nearly 40 years ago. While the main lines were still in place, the project improved the distribution system and brought water to homes that had very unreliable service and low water pressure, or did not have municipal water at all. It also will help meet demand for new families moving into the area.  


 The Mahaena district is located on the northeast side of the island of Tahiti in the municipality of Hitia O Te Ra, which stretches over about three kilometers of the main highway. The new services go in the Faaiti area, which is divided into two zones. So far, work has been carried out in the first zone for 33 dwellings. At the end of this project, more than 500 people will benefit from this assistance.


“We are so appreciative of the partnership between the city and Latter-day Saint Charities. This project creates a real benefit to our community for both young families and long-time residents,” said Abel Tehotu, mayor of Mahaena, in a ceremony celebrating the completion of phase 1 of the project. 


Eric and Annette Graffe represented Latter-day Saint Charities as volunteer missionaries to help plan and manage the project, along with Tautua and Valérie Pahio who are senior volunteers.


Eric Graffe emphasized that water is “a vital necessity,” and that beneficiaries will be Latter-day Saints as well as our friends of other faiths.

Hinarii has been a resident of Mahaena all her life. She lives with her grandmother and her own family, and is delighted today that she can finally use a water heater because the pressure allows it.  Now she can enjoy the same good water pressure she used to have when she was a child.


Sake and his wife Mila, parents and grandparents, are happy to be able to bathe at any time of the day. Often in the past, bath time was late at night because at the end of the day everyone was using the water for meals and other daily necessities. Now life is better.


Mapuhia has been a resident for more than 40 years and is delighted with these new facilities and warmly thanked the partners for this action.


The mayor invited everyone for a traditional meal, called "Ma’a Tahiti," with the families and all the partners. 


In his remarks he expressed gratitude to God and all involved in the project.


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