PACC+ improves water quality in Tokelau


PACC+ has provided Tokelaueans with new gutter/plastic water tanks (water catchment), first flush diverters and plastering concrete water tanks built under many houses. Photo credit: Sara Ferrandi.

Mikaele Maiava and his family has PACC+ to thank for the improvement of water quality on his island of Tokelau, a New Zealand territory consisting of three tiny atolls. 

Highlight Title

  • "PACC+ enabled us to fix many tanks, install water pipes and first flush diverters."
  • In October 2011 a drought hit Tokelau, declaring a state of emergency and leaving all atolls very short of water.
  • “The results of this project contribute directly to our Vision Healthy and Active Communities with Opportunities for All.”

PACC+ – a multi-funded project is implemented by UNDP in partnership with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and funded by funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Australian Agency for International Development with support from United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) Climate Change Capacity Development (C3D+) Programme.  

It has provided all three atolls in Tokelau with new gutter/plastic water tanks (water catchment), first flush diverters and plastering concrete water tanks built under many houses. Many water tanks have cracks and therefore leakages, due to the roots of breadfruit trees pressuring the water tanks.

“PACC+ is one of the best projects that have had immediate positive impacts for the people on our island.”, Mikaele said. 


Water testing is regularly conducted to ensure safe drinking water for the islanders. Photo credit: Mikaele Maiava.

“As you know, water is a vital element for the survival of our people and PACC+ enabled us to fix many tanks, install water pipes and first flush diverters. All these activities improved both water quantity and quality on the island to provide healthy drinking water for everyone.”

Tokelau has been subjected to many development interventions, and UNDP with other agencies has been supporting the Tokelau government in managing disaster risks in the case of extreme weather events. Such projects include water supply, conservation, coast line protection and provision of renewable energy.Tokelau, a territory of New Zealand, consists of 3 tiny atolls. 

In October 2011 a drought hit Tokelau, declaring a state of emergency and leaving all atolls very short of water. New Zealand, Samoa and United States among others sent water to Tokelau as emergency and humanitarian aid. This drought resulted in the PACC (Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change) project focusing on water supply and PACC+ project with funds from Australia was launched in November 2011.

“When our family members return to Tokelau for the happy holidays, our water supply does not last for more than 2 weeks. We previously had to fetch water from other families‘ water tanks for our water needs,” Mikaele added.

“The results of this project contribute directly to our Vision Healthy and Active Communities with Opportunities for All.”