Mon, Mar 23, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan funds project in Sao Tome

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

A water-supply system funded by Taiwan has been inaugurated in Sao Tome and Principe, one of the nation’s diplomatic allies in Africa, with the aim of resolving long-standing water problems at the country’s military headquarters, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.

Ambassador John Chen (陳忠) told the opening ceremony that Taiwan was pleased to continue its cooperative programs with Sao Tome and Principe and would assist with other infrastructure projects once the government’s budget allows for it.

The contractor for the water system, a company called ABC, said the two storage tanks with a total capacity of 105,000 liters will be able to supply the military headquarters with water for an estimated 72 hours if the main water system fails.

Meanwhile, Taiwan recently launched an initiative in Haiti, another of the nation’s allies, to develop a white-sand beach called Point Sable in the south of the country.

Ambassador to Haiti Hsu Mien-sheng (徐勉生) said the beach had great tourism potential and expressed the hope that private businesses would join in developing the area.

In related developments, a local religious foundation delivered relief supplies yesterday to residents of a slum in South Africa whose homes were razed in a fire.

The Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation said its South African branch had visited a slum area called Langa near Cape Town to distribute blankets, flour, oil and sugar to the residents of more than 470 households.

The residents of the slum have been forced to stay in tents since losing their homes in the fire earlier this month.

The foundation said that since last week it had distributed hot meals every day to some 2,000 people in the area.

It said it was also taking the opportunity to raise awareness among children in the area of the importance of environmental protection.

The foreign ministry, whose overseas staff also helped with the distribution of the supplies, said that travelers from the Netherlands who happened to be in the area at the time of the fire had made a donation to support the relief efforts.

Meanwhile, closer to home, Taiwan’s business association in the Philippines donated 50 wheelchairs earlier this month to Makati City as part of its efforts to improve the lot of the country’s marginalized minorities.

Makati and Taichung are sister cities, the ministry said.

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