With the rich coconut resources of Pingelap, when this project is realized it will contribute to the development of Pingelap since it will generate jobs using eco-friendly and self-sufficient methods and equipment to secure access to income for the people of Pingelap when the products are brought to the market places on Pohnpei or exported outside of Pohnpei .
Pingelap is the first outer island to receive this type of project and its leadership and people should be commended for their zeal. Since the coconut is a common commodity among all of the islands, it is anticipated that Pingelap will set a trend for the other islands to simulate.
Pingelap also shares with the outer-lying islands of the FSM, problems due to migration of inhabitants to the more developed main islands or even outside of the FSM due to the lack of job opportunities. The initiators of this project have the hope that this project will make living on the outer islands more attractive.
Ambassador Suzuki closed his remarks with a saying that states: “He who plants a coconut tree, plants vessels and clothing, food and drink, a habitation for himself and a heritage for his children”.
Mayor Makir Keller also shared some remarks and stated that it was a “dream come true” for the people of Pingelap and he hoped that this project will be successful.
The historic event was witnessed by Mayor of Pingelap, Mr. Makir Keller and the municipal government officials along with inhabitants of Pingelap Island and Japan Embassy staff.
In addition to presenting the project grant, Ambassador Suzuki joined his staff and paid a visit to the Pingelap elementary school to illustrate short presentations introducing Japanese language, literacy, and simple origami- Japan’s art of paper folding. The students were very attentive and were gifted with school supplies in the form of notebooks and pencils.