The residents of Lalana village—an artificial island in Langalanga lagoon, Malaita province, will for the first time in the Islands history have fresh water after the installation of ten concrete water tanks.
The project installed by Adventist Development and Relief Agency-Solomon Islands (ADRA SI) has now enabled hundreds of people in Lalana village to collect water for drinking, cooking and do domestic duties.
People living on the artificial island have had to paddle around 2-3 hours in canoes to collect fresh water each day
ADRA SI director Mr Barry Chapman says, “People living on the artificial island have had to paddle around 2-3 hours in canoes to collect fresh water each day. This now means they can focus on other matters including economic opportunities for their families.”
The project costing SI$3.8 million (Solomon Island dollars) is co-funded by the Solomon Islands Government Development Fund and Australian Government Aid Program (AusAid). ADRA SI and the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Program (RWSS), worked together to implement the project.
This is only the second partnership agreement entered into by the RWSS and a non-government organisation in the water supply and sanitation sector in the Solomon Islands.
“We are very happy the people of Lalana village are now able to collect water right at their doorstep. This is a dream come true for the dry village,” says community project coordinator Mary Noli.
Ms Noli said the project ends the long history of women, girls and children having to paddle long distances to the mainland to collect water. “This is a big achievement and a blessing to the community. This will improve their livelihood.”
Seeing the women, girls and children struggle for so long persuaded Mary Noli to seek help from ADRA SI—now they have a brighter future.
Ms Noli thanked ADRA SI for their willingness to implement the project and work with the local government authorities. She also thanked the community—saying it was their cooperation with ADRA that now allows them to have fresh water on tap.
Mr Barry Chapman says, “ADRA Australia provided around $20,000 for the construction of three concrete tanks. The communities were so keen to get involved—they helped build the ten water tanks. They now have up-to 160,000 liters of fresh water available.”
Mr Chapman said the project marks a milestone for the community. He added that ADRA is interested in helping rural communities to have clean drinking water right at their doorstep.