Reliant delivers fresh water to Pohnpei

Australian Defence Vessel Reliant delivered 116,000 litres of fresh water to Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia.

CAPTIONAustralian Defence Vessel Reliant transfers fresh water to a Pohnpei fire department tanker during a port visit to Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia. Story by Lieutenant Carolyn Martin. Photos by Corporal Sam Price.

Usually one of the wettest places in the world, Pohnpei declared a state of emergency on January 12, due to a lack of rainfall.

Reliant’s crew were more than happy to assist their Pacific partners, making fresh water on board and filling their tanks on shore.

Australian Ambassador to Micronesia Jo Cowley welcomed Reliant and its crew to Pohnpei Port.

“It’s wonderful to have this large Australian ship with her valuable cargo of fresh water once again in Pohnpei Port,” Ms Crowley said.

“Pohnpei has an annual rainfall of up to 400 inches, but it has been an unusually dry few months.”

The in-country maritime security adviser for the Pacific Maritime Security Program in Micronesia, Lieutenant Commander Nigel Williams, said he hoped Pohnpei’s population would be reassured by Australia’s gift of fresh water.

Pohnpei is renowned for its lush vegetation, jungle hillsides and flowering hibiscus. However, the usually abundant rainfall that feeds a multitude of streams, rivers and waterfalls on the island have been in short supply since late 2023.

While in port, the crew of Reliant provided capability demonstration tours of the vessel.

Reliant is conducting a patrol through the Pacific, visiting Pacific island countries, delivering stores and equipment, and supporting maritime surveillance.


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