PORT VILA, VANUATU (29 August 2017) — A new and pioneering septage treatment facility was officially opened today by the Minister of Infrastructure Jotham Napat, Australian High Commissioner Jenny Da Rin, Port Vila Lord Mayor Ulrich Sumptoh, and Asian Development Bank (ADB) Director Emma Veve.

Funded by the Governments of Vanuatu and Australia, along with a $5 million loan from ADB through the Port Vila Urban Development Project (PVUDP), the facility will improve Port Vila’s waterways and the health of residents and surrounding communities.

Located in Bouffa, the capital’s new septage treatment facility will improve the treatment and disposal of septage waste. Two septage ponds were constructed over a 12-month period, employing 8 local workers. The septage treatment facility is designed to be simple and cheap to operate.

“PVUDP is transforming Port Vila, improving the daily lives of hundreds of people, making traffic safer and now, with this facility, we are looking after the health of Port Vila’s residents by improving the environment and waterways,” said Ms. Da Rin.

“The government is also very much mindful of the fact that with growth comes the need to ensure that proper waste disposal and management systems are in place for us to maintain our natural beauty and great image as a clean and healthy city,” said Mr. Napat. “This is no small task. This first ever septage treatment plant, thanks to partners such as yourselves, is a step in the right direction.”

“The septage treatment facility will provide a safe and secure method of treating and disposing of septic tank waste. The septage treatment facility complements other health and sanitation works delivered by PVUDP such as community sanitation facilities and septage management policies and regulations that will improve the well-being of people living in the greater Port Vila area,” said Ms. Veve, a Director in ADB’s Pacific Department.

The septage treatment facility is a component of the Port Vila Urban Development Project, one of Vanuatu’s biggest infrastructure projects. The facility will begin operations on 1 September this year.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB is celebrating 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2016, ADB assistance totaled $31.7 billion, including $14 billion in cofinancing.

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