The availability of water for drinking and other uses is a major problem in many communities in the Solomon Islands.
Mothers still walk far to fetch water just for washing and cooking.
World Vision Solomon Islands has visited communities in East Malaita where it is currently implementing a Youth Social Entrepreneurship Development Project (YSED).
The project is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of New Zealand (MFAT) and aimed to ensure youth manage effective business with increase connection to provincial and national markets and access to business support and to enable youths to financially sustainable to produce diversified livelihoods. The project trained youths on financial literacy including budget, management and savings. It also introduced saving groups to youths where they themselves are managing and can access loan from their savings to start up small businesses of interest. It also aims to raise community leaders especially through training and engaging youth on communal activities to help them see their potential as leaders within their communities.
At East Malaita the team went as far as Adeliua village. Upon the arrival at Adeliua, the team packed the vehicle under a Banyan tree. Mothers were sitting there. One was actually managing her canteen filled with sorts of goods, mostly food. Others were sitting there talking to each other and laughing. It was around noon. The cold breeze under the banyan tree could also being the reason that lured them to sit under it and enjoying the cold air. They were also enjoy looking down at the sea where the beautiful Kwai and Ngongosilla islands perfectly sit on. Yes, they are greeting them every day with their beauty. Sadly, these beautiful islands are also experiencing the impacts of climate change every-day especially the sea level rise.
Under a building which is almost three meters high nearby were lying rolls of polyethylene pipes. The pipes were purchased by World Vision’s YSED Project and some by the community through their own fund raised activities.
The YSED project had also been assisted them with bags of cement that enabled the community to build a water dam. The pipes will be used to source down the water to Adeliua village.
Adeliua like many other communities in the country is still to have a water supply. Life is very difficult according to a mother Lilly Madu.
She said since the past years they still do not have a water supply reaching their home.
“We usually fetch water for use at a stream nearby behind our village, but that stream is not reliable as it only depends on rain.”
“Once there is no rain or during dry session, we have to walk down the hill to fetch water,” Mrs Madu said.
The water source at a village down the hill is more than 200 meters away. It is indeed hard to imagine the suffering mothers are facing every day walking down to fetch water and climbing up the hill to their homes.
Another mother Rose George described their situation as very difficult.
“Indeed it is a very difficult situation especially for us mothers when trying to take care of our children and then we have to walk a far distance to fetch water,” She said.
Mrs George further said, authorities has failed to recognize and address their need big time.
Both mothers are indeed desperate to see their water supply project be completed.
YSED project through its Impact group has helped to construct a water dam at a ridge almost two kilometers away.
Recently, the project and the community have shared cost on polyethylene pipe towards the project. The arrival of the first rolls of the polyethylene pipes indeed give hope for the mothers, while the project will continue working together with all community members to ensure their long time issue is addressed.