Enginkehlap News Excerpts September 4 – 11, 2020

  1. On Friday, September 4, 2020, the Joint Outer Islands Municipal Government COVID-19 Response plan, was presented to Governor Oliver, Lt. Governor Perman, and the Pohnpei State COVID-19 Task Force.  Representing the Outer Islands Municipal Government was the Hon. Smithy Clark, Mayor of Pingelap and the Hon. Senard Leopold, the Mayor Nukuoro.  The joint plan was presented by Mr. Patrick Blank, who was consulted to help draw up the response plan.   The Joint Outer Island Response Plan is modeled after the State’s response plan addressing food and water security, COVID condition levels, movement, quarantine, and isolation.
  2. On Friday, September 4, 2020, a small ceremony in Kitti celebrated the long-awaited delineation of watershed forest reserve within the boundaries of the Kitti Municipality.  According to Mr. Jorg Anson from the FSM Ridge to Reef Project, Pohnpei State Public Law PL No. 1L-128-87, known as Pohnpei Watershed Forest Reserve and Mangrove Protection Act of 1987, was set up to create and provide for the protection and maintenance of an effective watershed forest reserve, to protect important watershed areas, and to provide for the conservation and management of mangrove forests. It also called for a Watershed line to be delineated and demarcated on the ground to protect native forests from human encroachment. The community outreach efforts culminated in a decision made by Kitti Pwihn en Wahu (Council of Traditional Leaders) that cleared the way for the team to proceed.  The outreach team consisted of State, Local and NGO partners while the actual delineation included several Kitti locals who assisted mainly surveyors from the Pohnpei State Department of Land and Natural Resources.
  3. On Monday, September 7, 2020, the Kitti COVID-19 Task Force presented their Emergency Response and Preparedness plan to Governor Oliver, Lt. Governor Perman, and the Pohnpei State COVID-19 Task Force.  Kitti Task Force Chairman, Mr. Herman Semes, Nahnmadau en Dehd Kitti, led the presentation which included their mission, vision, and goals.  Governor Oliver thanked the Chairman and Task Force for the plan, highlighting one of their goals listed, social distancing, as an important component of prevention and spread of COVID-19.  He urged the Kitti Task Force and Pohnpei Task Force members to lead the way for others to observe and follow with social distancing, asking “mah Kaiden kitail, ihs? Mah Kaiden met, iahd?” 
  4. On Thursday, September 10, Governor Oliver welcomed H.E. Carmen Cantor, U.S. Ambassador to FSM, to the Pohnpei State Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) office.  The purpose of Ambassador Cantor’s visit was to hand over boxes of trash bags and bottles of water for World Micronesia Clean-Up Day on September 12, 2020. Governor Oliver thanked Ambassador Cantor on behalf of EPA and the people of Pohnpei for the donations to help clean up Pohnpei.  He also took the time to thank Ambassador Cantor for strengthening the bonds of friendship between USA and FSM, particularly Pohnpei with her recent traditional leader’s visits across Pohnpei.  Ambassador Cantor thanked Governor Oliver for his Office’s cooperation and collaboration with these visits.   
  5. On Thursday, September 10, Pohnpei’s representatives on the Joint Committee for Compact Renegotiations (JCRP), Mr. Bethwel Henry, and FSM Vice Speaker Esmond Moses visited Governor Oliver, Lt. Governor Perman, and members of the cabinet at the Governor’s Conference Room. The purpose of the meeting was to provide updates on the ongoing compact of free association re-negotiations.  JCRP Chairman and former Ambassador, Mr. Asterio Takesy, gave a brief overview on the status of negotiations with the U.S.  Ambassador Takesy said the expiring economic provisions which include sector grants, certain federal programs, and the FSM trust fund, are the focus of negotiations with the U.S.  Ambassador Takesy said that the U.S. has expressed interest in the continuation of the compact and that the presence of China in the Pacific has commanded the interest of the U.S.A, particularly in Micronesia.  Ambassador Takesy said the negotiators on both sides have agreed to an ambitious work schedule to have a presentation ready for the U.S. and FSM Congress by the end of this year.  Governor Oliver thanked Ambassador Takesy, former Speaker Bethwel Henry, Vice Speaker Esmond Moses, and Mr. Epel Ilon for the updates. 
  6. Pohnpei’s 41st Liberation Day celebrations were held at the Governor’s Conference Room on September 11, 2020.  Click below to view today’s event to commemorate Pohnpei’s 41st Liberation Day.  With remarks by:
    The Honorable Reed B. Oliver, Governor of Pohnpei State
    His Majesty Wasalapalap Isipahu, Herbert Hebel, Nahnmwarki of Madolenihmw
    Kalahngan to Pohnpei Public Broadcasting Corporation for the coverage

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