TANNA, VANUATU – Asian Development Bank Vice-President Mr. Stephen Groff today joined Vanuatu’s Minister of Education and Training Mr. Jean-Pierre Nirua and Zero Mass Water’s Asia-Pacific Field Operations Lead Mr. Benjamin Lim to inaugurate a new technology to provide safe and reliable drinking water to the Petros Primary School community in the island of Tanna.

The technology, called SOURCE Hydropanels and developed by the US-based ZMW, is an off-grid, solar-powered innovation which extracts vapor into a proprietary absorbent material and produces drinking water from sunlight and air.

“This technology fills a critical gap in providing safe drinking water to the Petros school community and we hope this pilot may be extended beyond the education sector.”

While rainfall is plentiful and seasonal in Tanna, safe drinking water is not.

“ADB, Zero Mass Water, and the Government of Vanuatu worked in partnership to install 20 solar-powered drinking water units that convert moisture in the air into safe drinking water,” said Mr. Groff.

The project, which began about 9 months ago and is being piloted at the Tanna school community, cost about $75,000 with the 20 hydropanel array capable of producing up to 3,000 liters of clean drinking water per month.

“We are proud to be a part of this landmark project, supported by the Government of Vanuatu and ADB, that has delivered a resilient, long-term, and safe drinking water solution to the Petros Primary School community in Tanna, one of the most remote, vulnerable, and infrastructure-challenged parts of the Pacific Islands,” said ZMW’s Executive Vice President of Global Business Development Mr. Rob Bartrop.