On November 17, 2020, Governor Oliver welcomed Micronesia Conservation Trust Executive Director, Mr. William Kostka, and Japanese Ambassador to the FSM, H.E. Hidenobu Sobashima at the Governor’s conference room for a handover ceremony of eight (8) 1,600-gallon water tanks totaling USD $20,000 for Kapingamarangi drought relief donated by the Association for the Promotion of International Cooperation (APIC) and over USD $13,000 worth of equipment from the U.S. Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) through a grant to MCT and the Invasive Species Taskforce of Pohnpei (ISTOP) to assist the conservation and invasive species eradication efforts in Pohnpei.
Mr. Kapilly Capelle, the Special Assistant to the Governor, opened the ceremony with a prayer of giving thanks and blessings. The Master of Ceremonies, Mr. Billston Charley, then invited Mr. William Kostka for a remark afterward.
Director Kostka stated that the purpose of the gathering was two-fold, one is to provide assistance to the people of Kapingamarangi for a drought relief that they are currently experiencing, through the eight (8) 1,600-gallon water tanks donation from the $20,000 APIC donation, the Association for Promotion of International Corporation (APIC) in Japan. Second, MCT also donated $13,513.89, through the US Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) worth of equipment and supplies to assist Pohnpei State with invasive species eradication and conservation enforcement efforts.
Japanese Ambassador to the FSM, H.E. Hidenobu Sobashima, delivered his remarks by first highlighting the historic bonds between the FSM and Japan, and the continuing assistance not only from the Government of Japan but also from private organizations in Japan wanting to help the people of FSM, like APIC. APIC donated $20,000 to MCT for the procurement of the water tanks. Ambassador Sobashima concluded by saying he hoped these donations will continue, like many others, as symbols of friendships between our two nations.
Governor Reed B. Oliver conveyed his thanks on behalf of a grateful Pohnpei State and People to Executive Director Kostka and Ambassador Shobashima for the generous donations made. He noted MCT’s donation through OIA to help maintain and enhance operations with the Office of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Department of Public Safety, Division of Fish and Wildlife, and Department of Resources and Development, Division of Agriculture. He called attention to a meeting before the ceremony where the Kapingamarangi Task Force and Assessment team provided reports on the outcome of a recent trip, the second, to provide much-needed food and water and supplies to Kapingamarangi, and thanked Ambassador Sobashima and Executive Director Kostka for the tanks that will help relief and recovery efforts. He recognized and thanked the lead agency for the relief efforts, the Department of Resources and Development, Director Hubert Yamada, and Kapingamarangi Senator Kasinda Ludwig as well as the members of the recently returned assessment team.