The provincial capital of Makira-Ulawa Province, Kirakira, held its official hand-over ceremony for the Water Supply Project last Friday.

Funded by the Government of Japan through Japanese Grant Assistance for Grassroots and Human Security Project (GGP), Makira-Ulawa Province received grant assistance of over 360 thousand Solomon dollars.

The assistance is aimed to rehabilitate the water supply system in Kirakira.

Speaking at the hand-over ceremony, Grassroots Project Coordinator of the Embassy of Japan, Yosuke Sekiguchi, said the Government of Japan understands that Kirakira Town has been experiencing water problem for quite some time due to leaking water pipes.

"[This has] reduced water pressure [causing] difficulties for doctors and medical staff of Kirakira Hospital to continue providing medical services to patients," Mr. Sekiguchi said.

He described the situation as "beyond our imagining" as "it goes without saying that water is a vital part of [everyone's life]".

Mr. Sekiguchi said the Government of Japan, in light of the crisis, responded positively to assist Makira-Ulawa Province and the people of Kirakira.

Provincial Secretary for Makira-Ulawa Province, Andrew Nanauoha, in response expressed gratitude for the continuous support from the Government of Japan.

"The successful completion of Kirakira Water Supply Project will be followed by the Kirakira Hospital Upgrading Project, also funded by the Government of Japan in 2004," Mr. Nanauoha.

The ceremony was witnessed by officers and staff of Makira-Ulawa Provincial Government.