Church helps bring drinking water to families in French Polynesia

Joint project renovates 50-year-old water system in Tahiti village

More than 300 people living in a small community on the island of Tahiti now have a newly renovated water system, thanks to funding and support from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

The original water system was 50 years old. It included a water catchment at the bottom of a remote valley — some of the pipes connecting it to the town were strung through trees and some were buried, explained Eric and Annette Graff, who worked with the city of Taiarapu-Ouest on the joint project.

“During storms, the pipes would often get damaged, causing loss of water or contamination for the town’s only water supply,” Annette Graff said in a report from the Church’s Pacific Newsroom.

The mayor of Taiarapu-Ouest and Arue Tahiti Stake President Manea L. Tuahu use two rocks for a traditional cutting of the leaf ribbon to mark the completion of a water project for the community on the island of Tahiti, French Polynesia, April 2022. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

In the project, workers widened the road to allow heavy equipment through. This then made it possible to install two kilometers of new pipes and convert the catchment into a more sophisticated draining gallery — putting pipes deep in the bed of the river covered with gravel. 

The water is treated in reservoirs and then sent to homes, where families have safe drinking water at their taps.

Manea L. Tuahu is the Church’s manager for self-reliance services in French Polynesia, and the president of the Arue Tahiti Stake. 

“We have done several water supply projects in other municipalities, and we are delighted that so many families here will have potable drinking water,” he said. 

“The contribution of the Church is a way to say thank you to the city. We are grateful to participate in these kinds of projects to bless the lives of families. Thank you for the opportunity to serve our population.”

People arrive on the new access road that was enlarged to renovate a water supply system for Taiarapu-Ouest, Tahiti, French Polynesia, in April 2022. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
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