Solomon Islands

Adaptation plans to ensure resilience for water-stressed communities

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A young girl in Taro, Choiseul Province of Solomon Islands makes use of a newly dug communal hand pump well SIWSAP installed in the township. © Photo: UNDP/Ruth Ramoifuila

Honiara, Solomon Islands: Six Solomon Islands communities have successfully completed mapping out their climate change adaptation plans for this year until 2018 and beyond.

The plans are a result of an intensive planning process conducted at rural communities in Ferafalu of Manaoba Island in the Malaita Province, Tuwo of Fenualoa Island in the Temotu Province, Santa Catalina in the Makira-Ulawa Province, and provincial towns of Tigoa in the Rennell Bellona Province, Taro in the Choiseul Province and Gizo in the Western Province.

The process was facilitated by the Solomon Islands Water Sector Adaptation Project (SIWSAP) in collaboration with the Solomon Islands Government Divisions of Water Resources, Climate Change, and Environmental Health. SIWSAP’s key objective is to improve the resilience of water resources to climate change impacts in order to improve the health, sanitation and quality of life, as well as sustain the livelihoods of families living in the mentioned communities and townships.

Deputy Director for the Water Resources Division, Isaac Lekelalu said, “Adaptation Planning form an important part of SIWSAP’s work in the remote communities and townships”.

“A water sector vulnerability assessment confirmed these sites experience serious water related challenges daily and the impacts of our changing climate exacerbates the challenges on their water resources,” said Lekelalu.

Adaptation planning was conducted through a two-day workshop at each site last June and July. During this transparent process, the townships and rural communities reviewed a list of project options, voted for them and prioritized the options they voted for.

All project options encompass water, sanitation and hygiene facets and include a range of options from conducting a community led total sanitation program for promoting appropriate sanitation that uses less or no water, to installing communal rainwater harvesting systems to having a water infiltration gallery to harvesting rainwater via airstrip runoff.

“The project options presented to sites were similar to each other but unique to each site,” said Lekelalu.

“Project options take into account their level of vulnerabilities to climate change impacts in order to adapt now and onwards. Adaptation approach by SIWSAP means not only providing infrastructure but promoting water conservation and use through awareness, self-financing for operation and maintenance, ownership and water catchment protection.

“If these are embraced by each community it will enable them to have water at all times”, added Lekelalu.

SIWSAP is funded by the Global Environment Facility and implemented by the Water Resources Division of Ministry of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification with technical support from the United Nations Development Programme Solomon Islands Country Office.

Contact Information
Ruth Ramoifuila, Water Resources Division, Ministry of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification; tel: +677 23093; email: