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As our Lord calls his servant home, we at the Pacific Water and Wastewater Association respectfully convey our condolences to the people of Tonga, the Tonga Water Board and Prime Minister Samuela ‘Akilisi Pohiva’s family and friends on this very sad news.

“Prime Minister Pohiva was a humble and passionate leader and a strong supporter of PWWA.  The Kingdom of Tonga through Tonga Water Board hosted our 9th Pacific Water Conference Expo and 2nd Pacific Water Ministerial back in 2016 and in that occasion, Prime Minister Pohiva was always engaging with our members and spoke on the importance of having clean and safe water for our Pacific people.  He was going to attend our last conference in Vanuatu but pulled out at the last minute due to illness” said CEO Pitolau Lusia Sefo Leau

He will always be remembered as a great leader who fights for the Pacific Region and especially his people.  It would be difficult to measure the impact he has had on the many people’s lives he touched both personally and professionally.

To the Tongan people, and especially our colleagues in the Tonga Water Board and industry - you are in our thoughts, hearts and prayers.

Gary's Story.....

This is Gary’s story….


“I have been fortunate to have been working in the wider Pacific for the past 19 years, predominantly in the potable and non-potable Water Sector, with the total support of the Companies I represented.

I was introduced to the PWWA SOME 15 years ago and decided it was an organisation that I needed to be part of if this was to be my future.

Over the years there have been many individual highlights, too many to mention.

One of the biggest buzz’s I have gotten is the openness with which the Pacific Water Utilities as a whole opened their doors and welcomed me in once they realised I was here for the long term and had something to offer.

So the journey began where it quickly went from a job to a passion and it remains that way till today.

Being involved from grassroots to final completion of a project is what makes it for me, nothing like being there when the first trench is dug, the first pipe & fittings are laid, offering support and training, and then to see the final result and watch the pride that the Utility teams show when a project is completed.  

The other main highlight has been my involvement with PWWA, I do remember the 2010 Conference in Fiji where I met and spent quite a few hours with a gentleman called Jim Keary (Dad), he encouraged me to become more involved, and well the rest is history, from being nominated and voted onto the Board, being part of the Sustainability Committee as we went through a rigid restructure process to where we sit today, an organisation we can all be proud of.

During this time I have been lucky to have had the continued support not only of the Water Utilities but also from my fellow Allied Members.

This was obviously topped off in Vanuatu in 2019 with being awarded the “Water Professional of The Year” trophy, this for me is the pinnacle of my 19-year career in the Pacific to date, something that I will cherish for ever.


… a big thank you to you all for making it what it is.”


We say, faafetai tele and Malo Gary!


PWWA Secretariat

10 September 2019

Press Release New Board

2019 Young Water Professional

Japan Funds Majuro Water and Sewer Company

Date: September 14, 2017

Majuro, Marshall Islands


            On Wednesday, September 13, 2017, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Republic of the Marshall Islands, H.E. Ambassador Hideyuki Mitsuoka and the General Manager of Majuro Water and Sewer Company (MWSC), Mr. Joseph Batol signed the Grant Contract for “the Project for Improvement of Public Water Supply and Sewer System in Majuro Atoll” at the Embassy of Japan. The grant amount up to $90,800 was funded through Japan’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP).

            MWSC takesan important role in the water supply and sewer system of Majuro Atoll; however, their two excavators were in poor condition and the fatal damages occurring frequently were huge obstacles to deal with prompt and proper installation and maintenance of water pipes on a daily basis. MWSC had been tirelessly seeking ways to perform daily services for the residents. GGP helps MWSC to purchase a medium-sized and a small-sized excavator, which are suitable for water works and plumbing on wide public roads and narrow aisles.

At the signing ceremony, the Ambassador stated the Embassy of Japan hopes that this project will be beneficial in improving the needed water services for the people of Majuro Atoll, and further acknowledges that the granted heavy equipment will be used effectively and maintained appropriately for the years to come.

The ceremony was witnessed by Hon. Minister of Works, Infrastructure and Utilities Anthony Muller, Vice Chairman of Combined Utilities Board of Directors Emil DeBrum, Marshall Energy Company CEO Jack Chong Gum, MWSC Operation Manager Halston DeBrum, MWSC JICA Senior Volunteer Takio Tamura, MWSC Finance Manager Martha Edward, as well as officials from the Embassy of Japan.

The Government of Japan launched GGP in 1996, for the purpose of responding to various development needs engaged in grassroots activities with schools, hospitals as well as local governments and NGOs in the RMI. As of September 2017, the Embassy granted 60 GGP at Majuro Atoll, and a total of 140 GGP in the RMI.



For more information, please contact:

Embassy of Japan (Email: [email protected])

Mr. Hideyuki Yamasaki, Grassroots Grant Project Coordinator, Tel: 247-7463

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