Vanuatu

Providing safe water in rural Vanuatu

Access to safe, clean water for drinking and washing is critical to staying healthy. When people don’t have access to safe drinking water, the risk of preventable illness like diarrhoea increases. Without safe water to wash in, there is a much higher chance of infection. Proper sanitation greatly improves health outcomes.

For the communities of Baravet and White Water in rural Vanuatu, it was hard to access to safe water. Many people had to carry water from communal taps or the nearby river. The taps they did have were connected to old rusty pipes, meaning the water was unclean. And there were arguments about who was responsible for the communal taps, which meant they often remained broken.

Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP) NGO Global Mission Partners (GMP) brought community members together to fix these issues. Together they repaired their water tanks, replaced rusty pipes, and installed new taps – one for each household.

A Water Committee was established implement the project activities. The Water Committee is now responsible for ongoing work, such as maintaining the pipes and collecting the monthly fee from the households.

Lillian, a woman who has lived in the area her whole life, said it was a time of good cooperation. “This makes me very happy – very hard to describe my feeling.”

Thanks to GMP and their local partner Churches of Christ Overseas Aid (COCOA), Lillian, her community and communities nearby have access to safe, clean drinking water close to their homes. There have also been less disputes in the community, and they are now able to consider installing flush toilets.