World Vision provides water as disease spreads in flood-affected Solomon Islands
World Vision water experts are racing against the clock to get clean water to evacuation centres across Honiara as children and their families suffer from diarrhoea due to lack of clean water and adequate toilets.
World Vision partnered with Solomon Islands government groups and the Red Cross to install a water purification system that now delivers up to 60,000 litres of clean water per day.
World Vision Solomon Islands Country Director Dr Andrew Catford said severely disrupted water supplies mean the provision of safe water is essential to prevent further outbreaks of disease.
“With only 60 percent of Honiara’s water supply working, and confirmation that the water supply is contaminated, there is a real risk of wide-spread disease outbreak,” the Australian said.
Dr Catford said that World Vision had already supplied two evacuation centres in east Honiara with water and would continue distributing around 50-60 thousand litres of water a day to other centres throughout the flood-affected capital.
The water and sanitation relief cluster – consisting of World Vision, the Red Cross the National Disaster Management Office and Honiara City Council – will set up another purification plant in the Guadalcanal Plains to provide clean water to around 40,000 people also affected by the floods. World Vision is planning to establish simple latrines as well as source an additional four water purification systems.
Hundreds of families living in evacuation centres have also received emergency relief packs from World Vision which include soap, buckets, blankets, sleeping mats, mosquito nets and sanitary items.
Hudson Fa’arodo, who lives with his wife and two children at Mbokonavera centre in central Honiara, said that the shortage of water at the centre is a real concern for them, especially the children.
“It’s sad to see children cry and demand water, but there’s little we can do,” said Fa’arodo.
Water supply to Honiara residents stopped last Thursday when floods damaged water pipes and infrastructure, affecting many homes and businesses. Many people had to travel to nearby streams to fetch water for cooking and swimming, while others had to buy bottled water.