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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 2, 2002
 

CITY OF HONOLULU FORMS PARTNERSHIP WITH HUE, VIET NAM,
FOR ENVIRONMENTAL AND RESOURCE PROTECTION PROGRAM

     HONOLULU – A delegation from the City and County of Honolulu will leave on Friday October 4, 2002, for a one-week visit to Hue, Viet Nam.  They will participate in an international technical exchange partnership funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) under the auspices of the International Resource Cities Program.  This is the second official City visit to Hue and is an outgrowth of relationships that were established earlier in that Vietnamese city.

       “This program is aimed at assisting the government of Hue in addressing some of their critical service delivery needs.  These are the kinds of assistance projects that are identified at Honolulu’s Environmental Summits and our Asia Pacific Urban Institute,” said Mayor Jeremy Harris.  Tim Steinberger, Director of the City’s Department of Environmental Services, and two other engineers -- Wilma Namumnart and Kenneth Kawahara -- will work with Hue City officials to address three key priority areas:

1)      Solid waste management, drainage and wastewater issues

2)      Tourism management and development; and

3)      Urban greenery.

     Also included in the delegation will be Denise De Costa, community relations representative from the Board of Water Supply, who will provide training in development of public outreach programs.

     Hue City has a population of approximately 300,000 people, and anticipates growing
to 450,000 people by the year 2010.  According to Mayor Harris, Hue is experiencing a broad range of environmental and infrastructure problems – “growing pains” – as it transitions from the post-Viet Nam war era.  “We certainly expect that our team of engineers can provide Hue with some guidance as they initiate a comprehensive program of improvements to make their city a healthy and productive place in which to live and work,” Mayor Harris said.

     Specific program objectives include:

Ø      Improving solid waste collection.

Ø      Developing a composting program.

Ø      Organizing a solid waste recycling and conservation education campaign.

Steinberger has more than 20 years of experience in both the public and private sector in wastewater, water, energy and public works.  A graduate of the University of Maryland and the University of Hawaii (UH), he is a registered civil engineer and oversees both the wastewater system and the solid waste program for the City and County of Honolulu.  He manages over 1,000 employees and an annual operating budget of $360 million.

     Namumnart is currently the acting assistant division chief of the Refuse Division and has more than 30 years of experience in both the public and private sector.  She is a graduate of the University of Hawaii with degrees in civil engineering and public administration.   Her unit plans, directs and coordinates programs for solid waste management for the City.

      Kawahara is also an engineer with the Department of Environmental Services and works with a team responsible for federally-mandated pretreatment program compliance involving wastewater.  Additionally, he coordinates and implements effluent and biosolids reuse programs.  Also a graduate of the UH, he has worked in both the public and private sectors in a variety of programs involving construction and environmental engineering.

      De Costa has worked for the Board of Water Supply for 21 years in community relations and water education, and has developed a number of water conservation education and public outreach programs. 

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Tuesday, October 08, 2002

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