Health Projects Run by the AHS
Village Water Systems
What is the need ?There is no doubt that the availability of pure water and efficient sanitation to everyone is one of the most effective ways of improving the health of people living in our rural communities.
Only 41% of Papua New Guineans have access to clean and safe water. The majority of our rural communities rely mainly on water from the creek. The safety of this water for drinking is highly suspect, as it is being used further upstream for bathing, washing clothes and by animals. This is a major cause of gastrointestinal and skin conditions.
Villages need water tanks, pumps or piped water supplies, but there is a lack of technical expertise in the communities and transport is very expensive because of the poor infrastructure and communications, making many rural areas inaccessible.
Personal StoriesNathalie lives in the Maninglas mountains, near to Sakarina in Oro Province.
Like people in many other areas, she gets her drinking water from the creek. The water looks clean, but she doesn't associate the abdominal pains and diarrhoea, she and her family suffer from, with the people washing their clothes and the pigs drinking in the water further upstream. Even if she did, there is little she believes she could do to alter her situation.
If she realised that not washing her hands after using the toilet or before preparing food causes sickness, what could she do to change it?
Veronica, who lives at Boinai on the coast of Milne Bay Province fares a little better. Like the other women she takes her container to the beach, where she makes a hole in the sand to collect underground water. It may taste a bit gritty, but at least its clean!
Elizabeth can now collect water from one of the village taps close to her home in Fikanbaro in the Siane District of the Highlands. She prefers not to think about the time before AHS helped the community to install a piped water system from a spring in the mountain. At that time she had to carry the water several times a day from the mountain source.
How does the AHS Water Programme help?The initial motivation to develop a water system, must come from the community themselves. Mwangome Ngujo, our AHS Water Systems Officer recruited from Kenya through Voluntary Services Overseas, will help the community to:-
Where does the water programme operate ?Two systems have been developed so far at Movi and Fikanbaro in the Siane District of Chimbu Province in the Highlands. Rotary 'Saves Water Saves Lives' also helped to develop the system at Dogura in Milne Bay Province. Two projects at Yandime and Negemo in the Siane are ready to start, whilst a number of projects are at the planning stage in the Western Highlands.